Accueil > Publications > Recherche par années > Années 1990 > 1992

Spotheim-Maurizot, M ; Garnier, F ; Sabattier, R ; Charlier, M

Metal-ions protect DNA against strand breakage induced by fast-neutrons

International Journal of Radiation Biology 62 (6) 659-666

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Abstract :

Single and double strand breaks (SSB and DSB) are induced by fast neutrons in plasmid (pBR322) DNA in 1 mM potassium phosphate buffer (pH 7.25). Increasing the concentration of monovalent (Na+, Cs+, Li+), divalent (Mg2+, Ca2+) and trivalent (Al3+, Co3+(NH3)6) metal cations strongly decreases the yield of DSB. The extent of the observed protection depends on the valence of the cation. The production of SSB is only slightly decreased, except for Al3+ and Co3+(NH3)6, whose effects are particularly large (complete protection at 1 and 0.1 mm respectively). Circular dichroism spectra show that Al3+ induces an important structural change of DNA at the ion concentration where the protection becomes total. This change is probably a condensation (collapse), as in the well-known case of Co3+(NH3)6. Our results suggest two mechanisms of protection by metal ions : (i) the induction of structural changes of DNA, that render less accessible the critical sites of attack by OH’ radicals ; and (ii) the stabilization of the double helical regions between two close-set nicks on opposite strands, that hinders the effective double strand breakage of DNA.