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A new series of DNA bis-intercalators is reported in which acridine moieties are connected by rigid and extended pyridine-based linkers of varied length. Cross-linking of DNA by bis-intercalation is inferred from the unwinding and folding of linear DNA induced by the compounds; after ligation and removal of the bis-intercalator, superhelical circles, catenanes and knots that bear a residual imprint of the bis-intercalator are observed. These novel bis-intercalators are of interest because they can be used to probe the spatial organization of DNA, especially near sites of replication, recombination or topoisomerase action where two duplexes must be in close proximity. Preliminary results on the effects of the various compounds on the cloning efficiency of bacteria and replication by permeabilized human cells are also presented.


Journal article


Nucleic Acids Res

Publication Date





983 - 990


Acridine Orange, Cell Division, Cloning, Molecular, DNA, Superhelical, Electrophoresis, Ethidium, HeLa Cells, Humans, Intercalating Agents, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Nucleic Acid Conformation