Spermine-DNA interactions: A theoretical study

B. G. Feuerstein, N. Pattabiraman, L. J. Marton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations


Models for the interaction of spermine and DNA were studied by performing conformational energy calculations on spermine and molecular mechanics calculations on major and minor groove complexes of spermine and oligomers of DNA. Docked into the major groove of B-DNA, spermine stabilizes the complex by maximizing interactions between proton acceptors on the oligomer and proton donors on spermine. This is achieved by bending the major groove of DNA over spermine and altering oligomer sugar puckering and interstrand phosphate distances. By comparison, Liquori's minor groove model appears to be less stable than the major groove model. This evidence favors a preferential binding of spermine to certain sites in DNA, which provides a powerful force for the modification of DNA conformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5948-5952
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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