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Spotheim-Maurizot, M ; Ruiz, S ; Sabattier, R ; Charlier, M

Radioprotection of DNA by polyamines

International Journal of Radiation Biology 68 (5) 571-577

par Administrateur - publié le , mis à jour le

Abstract :

Putrescine, spermidine and spermine are natural polyamines bearing at neutral pH the net electrical charges +2, +3 and +4 respectively. We report here the radioprotective effect of these polyamines on the radiolysis of pBR322 plasmid DNA. We observe a very efficient protection against fast neutron-induced single and double-strand breakage in the presence of spermine and spermidine, and a significantly less efficient protection in the presence of putrescine. An ionic strength dependence is observed for spermidine and spermine, but not for putrescine. Circular dichroism measurements show spermidine- and spermine-induced structural modifications of DNA, i.e. the formation of tightly packaged condensates in the concentration range corresponding to radioprotection. No structural change is observed for concentrations of putrescine affording radioprotection. We explain the radioprotection by : (1) the scavenging of OH. radicals in the bulk, essentially observed in the case of putrescine ; (2) a local scavenging at the sites of binding of polyamines ; and (3) the reduced accessibility of the attack sites in the condensed stuctures induced by spermine or spermidine.