Specific cleavages of DNA by ascorbate in the presence of copper ion or copper chelates

Shyh Horng Chiou, Wen Chang Chang, Yuh Shan Jou, Hui Min M. Chung, Tung Bin Lo

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34 Citations (Scopus)


The DNA-cleavage specificity of ascorbate in the presence of copper ion is analyzed with end-labeled pBR322 DNA fragments. The nonenzymatic reaction of Cu(II)/ascorbate and DNA shows certain degrees of cleavage preference toward purinecontaining short segments in the labeled DNA under mild conditions (at 0°C and 10 min). The segments of pyrimidine clusters are least susceptible to cleavage. The DNA scission cannot be detected in the absence of metal ions, and is greatly diminished in the presence of EDTA and metal-chelating peptide. It is more specific than the nuclease-like scission activity induced by cuprous-phenanthroline complex. This scission activity in relation to the antiviral and antitumor activities of vitamin C reported in the literature deserves a crucial consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1723-1726
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biochemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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