Lanthanide metal(IH) ions remarkably catalyze the hydrolysis of phosphodiester linkages in DNA, RNA, and adenosine 3′, 5′-cyclic phosphate. The magnitudes of acceleration range from 104 to 1012 fold. With the use of Ce(III) ion (0. 01 mol-dm-3), the phosphodiester linkages in linear DNAs are hydrolyzed for the first time nonenzymatically (half-life 3. 6 h at pH 7. 2, 50°C). Furthermore, the linkages in both RNA and adenosine 3′, 5′-cyclic phosphate are efficiently hydrolyzed at pH 8.0, 30°C with the half-lives 10 min (by Tm(I)) and 36 \ seconds (by Ce(III)), respectively. Non-lanthanide metal ions show virtually no catalysis : the superb catalysis is specific for lanthanide metal ions. These results indicate high potentialities of the metal ions as the catalytic centers for the artificial enzymes which are applicable to regulation of various bio-reactions.
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