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Nucleic Acids Res. 2002 Jan 15;30(2):419-28.

Polyamine-nucleic acid interactions and the effects on structure in oriented DNA fibers.

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Physical Chemistry, Arrhenius Laboratory, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.


Fibrous oriented calf thymus DNA containing the natural polyamines spermidine (Spd) and putrescine (Put), and the degradation polyamines cadaverine (Cad) and 1,3-diaminopropane (DAP), have been investigated at different water contents using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods, fiber X-ray diffraction and gravimetric measurements. When judged by X-ray only the DAP and Spd samples seem to undergo a B-A-form transition at reduced water activity. Solid-state two-dimensional rotor-synchronized magic angle spinning (2D-syncMAS) 31P-NMR, however, shows the A-form to be present also in the Put sample, and it appears that the separation between the amine units of diamines is correlated with the amount of A-form present. In addition, the solid-state NMR data show the polyamine-bound DNA samples to have a significant deviation from the ordinary B-form DNA structure, displaying similar amounts of BI and BII nucleotide conformations. The low water content of the samples suggest that the polyamines themselves act as hydrators of DNA. Water 2H-NMR results are in agreement with this observation. The quadrupolar splittings of the polyamine 2H signals for samples at low water content indicate some preferential spatial orientations of the polyamines in the ordered DNA environment. The polyamines show relatively fast macroscopic diffusion as detected by NMR self-diffusion measurements.

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