The ability of polycationic ligands to stimulate DNA strand displacement between short oligonucleotides in a protein-free system is demonstrated. We show that two ligands, tetracationic aliphatic amine (spermine) and a dicationic intercalating drug (chloroquine), promote strand displacement in a concentration-dependent manner. At low concentrations both ligands decelerate spontaneous strand displacement because of their impact on the stability of the DNA duplex. At elevated concentrations they accelerate strand displacement via formation of intermediate structures containing three DNA strands. The rate of the last process does not correlate with the thermal dissociation rate of the entire DNA duplex. It indicates that, possibly, the action of these agents cannot be explained by their influence on the stability of the DNA duplex. In general, our results suggest that the ability to stimulate DNA strand displacement appears to be a common feature of polycations of different chemical and structural classes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry
- strand displacement
- thermal stability