Double-strand DNA hydrolysis by dilanthanide complexes

Mark E. Branum, Lawrence Que

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63 Scopus citations


Although there has been progress in developing artificial hydrolytic DNA cleaving agents, none of these has been shown to carry out the double-strand hydrolysis of DNA. We demonstrate that La(III) or Ce(IV) combined with the ligand 1,3-diamino-2-hydroxypropane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetate (HPTA) in a 2:1 ratio can efficiently cleave supercoiled plasmid DNA at 55°C within a 3-h period. Analysis of end-labeled restriction fragments cleaved by these complexes reveals 3'- and 5'-ends consistent with a hydrolytic mechanism. Unlike for other polydentate carboxylate complexes, plasmid DNA cleavage by La2(HPTA) or Ce2(HPTA) affords a significant amount of linear DNA with a considerable fraction of the supercoiled form still remaining. This result implies that La2(HPTA) and Ce2(HPTA) can carry out double-strand cleavage of plasmid DNA. La2(HPTA) and Ce2(HPTA) represent the first metal complexes demonstrated to be capable of double-strand hydrolytic cleavage of plasmid DNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-600
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1999


  • Cleavage
  • DNA hydrolysis
  • Double-strand DNA
  • Lanthanide complexes
  • Restriction endonucleases


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