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Study of Mechanism of Interaction of Mercurochrome with CT-DNA by Computation, Fluorescence and Electrophoretic Methods


Real-time measurement of the interaction between DNA-binding drug and target DNA sequence is a subject of interest for drug discovery and development. The effect of long term use of mercurochrome, a mercury containing antiseptic and an active bactericide, on DNA is of considerable importance to explore its toxic effect on human and other living organisms. Although it was banned in USA since 1998, but still it is being used as food preservative and as antiseptic in medicine in many developed and developing countries. Mercurochrome has a flat and planar structure, which may act specifically as intercalator for DNA, resulting in severe side effects and metabolic disorders. In the present work intercalation of mercurochrome with double helical mammalian DNA is studied using computational simulation approach using mercurochrome as ligand and DNA octamer d(GAAGCTTC)2 as a target. This octamer is an oft repeat sequence of CT-DNA and its complex with Actinomycin has been taken from Protein Data Base. The study suggests that mercurochrome acts as intercalating agent by participation of hydrogen bonds with guanine and cytosine. The findings of computational study are also validated by using fluorescence spectroscopy and gel electrophoresis on CT-DNA-mercurochrome adduct.

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One of the authors (RKK) greatly acknowledges the Director, IIIT, Allahabad for providing necessary facilities and financial support for doing in silico study.

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Correspondence to Krishna Misra.

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Sethi, R., Kesharwani, R.K., Haroon, S. et al. Study of Mechanism of Interaction of Mercurochrome with CT-DNA by Computation, Fluorescence and Electrophoretic Methods. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., India, Sect. A Phys. Sci. 83, 97–103 (2013).

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  • Mercurochrome
  • Calf thymus DNA
  • Intercalator
  • Docking
  • Gel electrophoresis
  • Fluorescence