Biological roles of transition from B form to Z form of DNA (B-Z transition) have recently received attention. The B-Z transition was also employed as driving machinery of a nano-mechanical DNA device. However, there are little reports of effective inducer of the B-Z transition. We previously reported that poly((L)-Lysine)-graft-dextran induces B-Z transition and grafted dextran plays an important role for the B-Z transition. In this report, we designed cationic graft copolymer as a potential inducer of B-Z transition. Series of the copolymers consisting of poly((L)-Lysine) backbone and abundant of dextran (Dex) or poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) side chains were prepared. The B-Z transition of poly(dG-dC)/Poly(dG-dC) were observed in the presence of these copolymers. The copolymers having higher content of Dex or PEG effectively induced the B-Z transition compared to that having lower content. The result indicated that not only electrostatic interaction between DNA and the poly((L)-Lysine) backbone but also hydrophilic graft chains play a role for the B-Z transition. We speculated that Dex- or PEG-enriched environment is favorable for Z form.
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