Base Specificity in the Interaction of Polynucleotides with Antibiotic Drugs

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Science  10 Sep 1965:
Vol. 149, Issue 3689, pp. 1259-1263
DOI: 10.1126/science.149.3689.1259


Echinomycin, daunomycin, ethidium bromide, nogalamycin, chromomycin, mithramycin, and olivomycin inhibit RNA synthesis by RNA polymerase by interacting with the DNA template. Chromomycin and olivomycin form complexes with DNA, preferably in the helical form, but not with RNA. These complexes require guanine in DNA and the addition of a stoichiometric amount of bivalent cation. None of the other antibiotics requires the presence of any single base in the template for its action.

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