The impact of TiO2 nanoparticies on DNA synthesis in vitro in the dark and the molecular mechanism of such impact were studied. The impact of TiO2 nanoparticles on DNA synthesis was investigated by adding TiO2 nanoparticles in different sizes and at various concentrations into the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) system. TiO2 nanoparticles were premixed with the DNA polymerase, the primer or the template, respectively and then the supernatant and the precipitation of each mixture were added into the PCR system separately to observe the impact on DNA synthesis. Sequentially the interaction between TiO2 nanoparticles and the DNA polymerase, the primer or the template was further analyzed by using UV-visible spectroscopy and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). The results suggest that TiO2 nanoparticles inhibit DNA synthesis in the PCR system in the dark more severely than microscale TiO2 particles at the equivalent concentration and the inhibition effect of TiO2 nanoparticles is concentration dependent. The molecular mechanism of such inhibition is that in the dark, TiO2 nanoparticles interact with the DNA polymerase through physical adsorption while TiO2 nanoparticles do with the primer or the template in a chemical adsorption manner. The disfunction levels of the bio-molecules under the impact of TiO2 nanoparticles are in the following order: the primer > the template > the DNA polymerase.
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