Influences of anionic polysaccharides on DNA synthesis in isolated nuclei and by DNA polymerase alpha: correlation of observed effects with properties of the polysaccharides.


The basis of the differential effect of anionic polysaccharides on replicative DNA synthesis in liver and hepatoma cell nuclei was investigated. The differential effect of heparin was lost when more than 40% of its sulfate was removed. DNA synthesis in liver nuclei was optimally stimulated by heparin of molecular weight 22600 and sulfate to hexosamine ratio 2.42, but inhibited by heparin of molecular weight 4300 and sulfate to hexosamine ratio 2.35. A heparin fragment (molecular weight 2800 and sulfate to hexosamine ratio 1.81), prepared by partial nitrous acid treatment was a potent inhibitor of DNA synthesis in hepatoma nuclei. There was no significant difference in the rate of entry of heparin or its subfractions into either liver or hepatoma nuclei. In both cases less than 15% of added polysaccharide entered the nuclei and only about 4.5% was found associated with the chromatin. The influence of the anionic polysaccharides on DNA synthesis was correlated with their ability to complex with histones as determined by relative light scattering in a laser nephelometer. The relative light scattered on mixing with histones (H1, H2A + H3, H4) was high for DNA synthesis stimulators (heparin, dextran sulfate); medium for DNA synthesis inhibitors (chondroitin 4- and 6-sulfates, heparan sulfate) and low for non-effectors (keratan sulfate, hyaluronic acid). Heparin and chondroitin sulfate H, which at low concentrations stimulate DNA synthesis in liver nuclei, inhibited DNA synthesis by calf thymus DNA polymerase alpha at all concentrations. This inhibition was not simply due to electrostatic interactions.




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