Effect of 4-quinolones and novobiocin on calf thymus DNA polymerase alpha primase complex, topoisomerases I and II, and growth of mammalian lymphoblasts

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1986 Jun;29(6):1073-8. doi: 10.1128/AAC.29.6.1073.


The influence of ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid, norfloxacin, novobiocin, and ofloxacin on elements of eucaryotic DNA replication was investigated in vitro. Each of the 4-quinolones, when present in amounts of more than 100 micrograms/ml, reversibly inhibited the DNA synthesis performed by the 95 DNA polymerase alpha primase complex from calf thymus. Novobiocin at 500 micrograms/ml or at higher concentrations irreversibly inactivated DNA polymerase alpha primase complex. The accuracy of in vitro DNA synthesis in the absence of repair mechanisms was determined from amber-revertant assays with phi X174am16(+) DNA as template. The antimicrobial agents did not significantly increase the frequencies of base pairing mismatches during the course of replication, indicating that the basal mutation rate is not affected by novobiocin and the 4-quinolones. The Ki values of 50% inhibition of DNA topoisomerases from calf thymus by ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, novobiocin, nalidixic acid, and ofloxacin were 300, 400, 1,000 or more, 1,000 or more, and 1,500 or more micrograms/ml, respectively, in the case of topoisomerase I, and the Ki values were 150, 300, 500, 1,000, and 1,300 micrograms/ml, respectively, in the case of topoisomerase II. The procaryotic topoisomerase II is approximately 100-fold more sensitive to inhibition by ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, and ofloxacin than is its eucaryotic counterpart. Growth curves of lymphoblasts were recorded in the presence of ofloxacin and ciprofloxacin. Neither 1 nor 10 micrograms of ciprofloxacin or of ofloxacin per ml affected cell proliferation. Ofloxacin and ciprofloxacin at 100 micrograms/ml inhibited cell growth; 1,000 micrograms/ml led to cell death. No correlation exists between the antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities of the 4-quinolones.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • DNA Polymerase II / metabolism*
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type I / metabolism*
  • DNA, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • Novobiocin / pharmacology*
  • Ofloxacin
  • Oxazines / pharmacology
  • Quinolines / pharmacology*
  • Spheroplasts
  • Thymus Gland / enzymology*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Oxazines
  • Quinolines
  • Novobiocin
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Ofloxacin
  • DNA Polymerase II
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type I