8-Oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine: Links to gene expression, aging, and defense against oxidative stress

Zsolt Radak, Istvan Boldogh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


The one-electron oxidation product of guanine, 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine (8-oxoG), is an abundant lesion in genomic, mitochondrial, and telomeric DNA and RNA. It is considered to be a marker of oxidative stress that preferentially accumulates at the 5' end of guanine strings in the DNA helix, in guanine quadruplexes, and in RNA molecules. 8-OxoG has a lower oxidation potential compared to guanine; thus it is susceptible to oxidation/reduction and, along with its redox products, is traditionally considered to be a major mutagenic DNA base lesion. It does not change the architecture of the DNA double helix and it is specifically recognized and excised by 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1) during the DNA base excision repair pathway. OGG1 null animals accumulate excess levels of 8-oxoG in their genome, yet they do not have shorter life span nor do they exhibit severe pathological symptoms including tumor formation. In fact they are increasingly resistant to inflammation. Here we address the rarely considered significance of 8-oxoG, such as its optimal levels in DNA and RNA under a given condition, essentiality for normal cellular physiology, evolutionary role, and ability to soften the effects of oxidative stress in DNA, and the harmful consequences of its repair, as well as its importance in transcriptional initiation and chromatin relaxation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-596
Number of pages10
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • 8-Oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine
  • 8-Oxoguanine DNA glycosylase
  • Aging
  • Free radicals
  • Guanine
  • Hormesis
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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