The inhibition of mitochondrial DNA polymerase gamma from animal cells by intercalating drugs

Nucleic Acids Res. 1978 Jun;5(6):2197-210. doi: 10.1093/nar/5.6.2197.


DNA polymerase gamma from purified nuclei of EMT-6 cells (mice) seems to be identical to the mitochondrial DNA polymerase from the same source following several criteria. These two enzyme activities are strongly inhibited by ethidium bromide and acriflavin, while proflavin, acridine orange, daunomycin and chloroquine inhibition is less pronounced. In the case of DNA polymerases alpha and beta very little inhibition by ethidium bromide was observed. Intercalation of this dye in a poly dA-dT 12-18 template-primer was studied spectrophotometrically under conditions similar to those in the in vitro DNA polymerase assay. The polymerase assay. The inhibition by this drug of the mitochondrial DNA polymerase gamma activity was shown to be competitive at varying concentrations of TTP while the inhibition was of the non-competitive type at different concentrations of poly dA-dT 12-18. We conclude that the drug, most probably in the intercalated form, is able to interact with the active site (s) of mitochondrial DNA polymerase.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • DNA Polymerase I / metabolism
  • DNA Polymerase II / metabolism
  • DNA Polymerase III / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Ethidium / pharmacology
  • Kinetics
  • Magnesium / pharmacology
  • Manganese / pharmacology
  • Mitochondria / enzymology*
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors*
  • Templates, Genetic


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Nucleic Acid Synthesis Inhibitors
  • Manganese
  • DNA Polymerase I
  • DNA Polymerase II
  • DNA Polymerase III
  • Ethidium
  • Magnesium