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Specificity of the spermidine requirement for the replication of phage phi x 174 dna by cell free extracts of escherichia coli


, : Specificity of the spermidine requirement for the replication of phage phi x 174 dna by cell free extracts of escherichia coli. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 609(2): 264-271

A new experimental approach for assessing the biological significance of spermidine interactions in isolated systems is applied to the stimulation by spermidine of the conversion of .vphi.X174 virion DNA to its replicative form by cell-free extracts of Escherichia coli. At 2.5 mM Mg2+, spermidine activated the reaction 20-fold. Varying the spermidine concentration affected both the rate and extent of this DNA synthetic reaction without altering the nature of the reaction products. The biological significance of the spermidine requirement was evaluated by measuring reaction rates in the presence of a homologous series of spermidine analogs of known activity in vivo. There was a lack of specificity, in that all of these analogs were capable of efficiently substituting for spermidine in stimulating the reaction rate. The relevance of this in vitro spermidine stimulation to E. coli chromosome replication in vivo is discussed in light of the results obtained with the spermidine analogs.

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