Characterization of the interaction between resmethrin and calf thymus DNA in vitro
Resmethrin (RES) is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide widely used to control pests in agriculture, but it may cause potential hazards to human health. The characteristics of the binding of RES with calf thymus DNA (ctDNA) were investigated in a physiological buffer (pH 7.4) by multiple spectroscopic methods combined with ctDNA melting and viscosity measurements, multivariate curve resolution-alternating least-squares (MCR-ALS) chemometrics and the molecular docking technique. The concentration profiles and the pure spectra for the reactive species (RES, ctDNA and RES–ctDNA complex), obtained through decomposing the augmented UV-vis spectral data matrix by the MCR-ALS approach, indicated that RES could bind to ctDNA and the reaction process could be quantitatively monitored. The RES molecules bound to ctDNA by groove binding, as evidenced by the negligible changes in the ctDNA melting temperature, viscosity and iodide quenching effect and the increase in the single-stranded DNA quenching effect. Fluorescence titration data indicated that the complexation of RES with ctDNA was mainly driven by hydrogen bonds and van der Waals forces, and had strong affinity. The changes in the Fourier transform infrared spectra of ctDNA suggested that RES molecules preferentially bound to the G–C region of ctDNA, which was consistent with the prediction of the molecular docking. The circular dichroism spectral analysis indicated that RES induced a decrease in the right-handed helicity of ctDNA. The DNA cleavage assay showed that RES did not cleave the pUC18 plasmid DNA. This study offers a comprehensive picture of RES–ctDNA interaction, which may provide insights into the toxicological effect of the insecticide.