PMID: 1668678Jan 1, 1991

Possible prebiotic significance of polyamines in the condensation, protection, encapsulation, and biological properties of DNA

Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere : the Journal of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life
I BaezaJ Oro

Abstract

Some properties of DNA condensed with spermidine have been compared with the properties of DNA condensed with Co3+(NH3)6 to determine whether condensation of DNA with these trivalent cations protects DNA against the action of DNase I and increases transcription and encapsulation of DNA into liposomes. It was shown that DNA condensed with Co3+(NH3)6 was resistant to the action of the endonuclease DNase I such as DNA condensed with spermidine was. However, DNA condensed with Co3+(NH3)6 was significantly less active in transcription with the E. coli RNA polymerase than DNA-spermidine condensed forms. In addition, it was demonstrated that both compacted forms of DNA were more efficiently encapsulated into neutral liposomes; however, negatively, charged liposomes were scarcely formed in the presence of DNA condensed with Co3+(NH3)6. These experiments and the well documented properties of polyamines increasing the resistance to radiations and hydrolysis of nucleic acids, as well as their biological activities, such as replication, transcription, and translation, together with the low concentration of Co3+ in the environment, lead us to propose spermidine as a plausible prebiotic DNA condensing agent rather than Co3+ and the basic pro...Continue Reading

References

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Related Concepts

Deoxyribonuclease I
Alkalescens-Dispar Group
DNA-Directed RNA Polymerase
RNA Polymerase Assembly Pathway
Endonuclease
Complex (molecular entity)
Transcription, Genetic
Prebiotics
DNA, Viral
Simian virus 40

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