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Mechanism of inactivation of bacteriophage deltaA containing single-stranded DNA by ascorbic acid.


The mechanism of inactivation of a single-stranded DNA phage, deltaA of Escherichia coli, by AsA was investigated as a part of the study on the mechanism of inactivation of viruses by AsA. Bubbling air or oxygen gas through the reaction mixture, and the addition of oxidizing agents or transition metals into the reaction mixture enhanced the inactivation of the phage by AsA. In contrast, nitrogen gas bubling, and the addition of reducing agents, chelating agents or radical scavengers prevented inactivation. The rate of inactivation was faster in the AsA solution preincubated for several minutes than in the freshly prepared AsA solution. DAsA, an oxidized form of AsA, demonstrated little effect on the activity of the phage. Concentrations of hydrogen peroxide which were theoretically produced by the autoxidation of AsA had no effect on the phage. The results indicated that the free radical intermediates produced during the course of the autoxidation of AsA participated in the inactivation. The radicals attacked the DNA of the phage to introduce strand scissions in the DNA, which might be mainly responsible for the inactivation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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