Polymer and Materials Science
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Poly(A + U), the 1:1 complex of poly(riboadenylic acid), poly A, and poly(ribouridylic acid), poly U, at pH 8 and self-complexed poly A at pH 4 exist as double helices in dilute aqueous solution. These complexes exhibit a similar behavior as native calf thymus DNA upon irradiation with 16 MeV electron pulses. Thus time resolved Rayleight light scattering measurements showed that crosslinking and double strand breakage can be clearly separated, the former proceeding faster than the latter. The extent to which the two processes occur depends on the ionic strength of the solution. At ionic strenghts exceeding 10 -1 mol/l crosslinking is the dominant process indicating that hcrit, the critical length between two single strand breaks for the accomplishment of double strand breaks, is strongly reduced. The investigation of complexes of poly A and Mg2+ ions revealed that the destruction of salt bridges is the rate determining process for the decrease of the light scattering intensity due to mainchain scission. This implies that life-times of salt bridges can be determined.
Type of Medium: