The Potency and Specificity of the Effects of Menadione on Reverse Transcriptase of Avian Myeloblastosis Virus and Rauscher Leukemia Virus
Cowie, Christine H.
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Menadione and other related naphthoquinones were stud1ed in hopes of finding a potent inhibitor of reverse transcriptase with a h1gh degree of specificity. After preliminary testing of the drugs in the Rauscher leukemia v1ral system (RLV). menadione was chosen for further study. Menadione was found to be a potent inhibitor of the activity of reverse transcriptase in the RLV system and of the partially purified reverse transoriptase of avian myeloblastosis virus when yeast RNA is supplied as template. The drug does not affect either DNA-dependent RNA polymerase or DNA-dependent DNA polymerase of M. lysodeikticus and causes an absorbance spectrum change in yeast RNA but shows no significant interaction with salmon sperm DNA. Menadione is also found to be toxic to L1210 leukemia cells in culture, inhibiting both protein synthesis and DNA synthesis while no effect was seen on the level of RNA synthesis. These results seem to indicate that menadione acts on the single stranded endogenous RNA of the viral RT system. This type of interaction with single stranded RNA would also explain the inhibition of protein synthesis of L1210 cells. The reason for the inhibition of DNA synthesis however, remains unexpla1ned.
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