Author(s): Allen MJ, Morby AP, White GF
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Abstract The interaction between the broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent, polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB), and various nucleic acids was investigated. Titration of either single- or double-stranded 100-bp DNA, or mixed-molecular weight marker DNA, or tRNA with PHMB caused precipitation of a complex between nucleic acid and PHMB in which the nucleotide/biguanide ratio was always close to unity. Binding of PHMB was highly cooperative, with apparent Hill coefficients 10.3-14.6. When a fluorescent derivative of PHMB was titrated with increasing amounts of nucleic acid, all four forms of nucleic acid caused strong polarisation of fluorescence, demonstrating the association with PHMB. The intensity and broad-spectrum binding of PHMB to all forms of nucleic acid has significant implications for the mechanism of action of this biocide.
This article was published in Biochem Biophys Res Commun
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology