Kinetic studies on the interaction of gold(III) with nucleic acids. I. Native DNA-Au(III) system-spectrophotometric studies

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Abstract

Kinetics of the interaction of Au(III) with native calf thymus DNA has been studied spectrophotometrically to determine the kinetic parameters and to examine their dependency on the concentrations of DNA and Au(III), temperature, ionic strength and pH. The reaction is of the first order with respect to both the nucleotide unit of DNA and Au(III) in the stoichiometry of 2∶1 respectively. The rate constants vary with the initial ratio of DNA to Au(III) and is attributed to the effect of free chloride ions and the existence of a number of reaction sites with slight difference in the rate constants. The activation energies of this interaction have been found to be 14–16 kcal/mol. From the effect of ionic strength the reaction is found to occur between a positive and a negative ion in the rate-limiting step. The logarithm of rate constants are the linear function of pH and the slopes are dependent on ther-values. A plausible mechanism has been proposed which involves a primary dissociation of the major existing species (AuCl2(OH)2), to give (AuCl2)+ which then reacts with a site in the nucleotide unit of DNA in the rate-liminting step followed by a rapid binding to another site on the complementary strand of the DNA double helix. There exist a number of binding sites with slight difference in reactivity.