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Oxidative damage to DNA has been linked to aging, cancer, and other biological processes. Reactive oxygen species and various antitumor agents including bleomycin and ionizing radiation have been shown to cause oxidative DNA sugar damage. Detection of DNA lesions is important for understanding the toxicological or therapeutic consequences associated with such agents. C4'-oxidized abasic sites (C4-AP) are produced by the antitumor drug bleomycin and ionizing radiation. The currently available methods for the detection of C4-AP cannot provide both structural and sequence information. We have developed an LC-ESI-MS-based approach for specific detection and mapping of C4-AP from a mixture of lesions. We show using Fe-bleomycin-damaged DNA that C4-AP can be detected at cytosine and thymine sites by direct MS analysis. Our results reveal that collision-induced dissociation of C4-AP-containing oligonucleotides results in preferential fragmentation at C4-AP sites with the formation of the unique a* ions (18 amu more than the a-B ions) that allow mapping of the C4-AP sites. Various chemical modification strategies (e.g., reduction with NaBH4 and NaBD4 and derivatization with methoxyamine and hydrazine, followed by LC-MS analysis) were also used for unambiguous detection of C4-AP sites. Finally, we show that the methods described here can detect the presence of C4-AP at specific sites in a complex sample such as hydroxyl radical-damaged DNA. The LC-MS approach was also used for the simultaneous detection of the other C4'-oxidation end product, 3'-phosphoglycolate, at a specific site in hydroxyl radical-damaged DNA. Thus, LC-MS provides a rapid and direct approach for the detection and mapping of oxidative DNA lesions.