In a search for new inhibitors of the nuclear enzyme poly(ADP-ribose) synthetase, it was found that various benzamides substituted in the 3-position were the most inhibitory compounds found to date. Two of the benzamides, 3-aminobenzamide and 3-methoxybenzamide, were found to be competitive inhibitors, with Ki values or less than 2 microM.
1. The isolated nuclei of the slime mould Physarum polycephalum contain an enzyme that will incorporated [adenine-3H] NAD+ into an acid-insoluble product, which is shown to be poly(ADP-ribose). 2. This incorporation has an optimum pH of 8.2 and a temperature optimum below 10degreesC. 3. Optimum stimulation is given by 15 mM-Mg2+. 4. 2-Mercaptoethanol or dithiothreitol also stimulates the incorporation, the latter at an optimum concentration of about 1 mM. 5. Under optimum conditions the Km value for the reaction is 0.28 mM at 15degreesC. Nicotinamide inhibits the incorporation with a Ki of 5.7 muM. 6. Exogenous DNA stimulates the incorporation by about 100%. 7. Preincubation of the nuclei with deoxyribonuclease, but not with ribonuclease, almost completely inactivates the incorporation of NAD+. 8. The enzyme is unstable at both 0degrees and 15degreesC in the absence of dithiothreitol. The presence of dithiothreitol at a concentration of 1 mM stabilizes the enzyme at both these temperatures. 9. The activity of this enzyme per nucleus was shown in three separate experiments to fall by about one-half in early S phase and then to rise to its pre-mitotic value after about 3 h, that is in late S phase. 10. The possible physiological function of this enzyme system is discussed.