The synthesis of mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) in HeLa cells is selectively inhibited by relatively low concentrations of ethidium bromide. After exposure of cells to strongly inhibitory concentrations of the drug, the apparent superhelix density of mDNA is rapidly increased, as judged by its buoyant density in CsCl in the presence of ethidium bromide. Mitochondrial DNA synthesized in the presence of partially inhibitory concentrations of ethidium bromide is also altered in its buoyant density in the presence of the dye, but is more heterogeneous in this respect. However, the change in buoyant density of newly synthesized mDNA may be explained by changes in structure other than a change in superhelix density, as indicated by its increased resistance to digestion by pancreatic DNase.

This content is only available as a PDF.