The biological importance of left-handed Z-DNA was supported by the identification of Z-DNA binding proteins. We previously reported that poly(L-lysine)-graft-dextran copolymers composed of a poly(L-lysine) main chain and dextran graft chains induced the B-Z transition under low salt conditions. Not only the cationic main chain but also the dextran grafts play an important role in induction of the B-Z transition. In this study, we prepared a series of poly(L-lysine) graft copolymers with different graft chains (dextran, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), or both) and graft contents to further elucidate the roles of copolymer structures and properties. The copolymers with higher graft contents more effectively stabilized the Z form of DNA than those having lower graft contents. An increase in the B-Z transition rate was observed as graft content increased. We propose that the side chains of the copolymers change microenvironmental factors, such as water activity and dielectric constant, around the DNA and stabilize the Z conformer. Interestingly, hetero graft copolymers with both dextran and PEG side chains stabilized Z-DNA more effectively than the homo graft copolymers with either dextran or PEG side chains.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry