Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. W. David Wilson - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Kathryn B. Grant

Third Advisor

Dr. Jerry C. Smith


The objective of this thesis was to study whether heterocyclic dicationic compounds that are minor groove binders have the ability to inhibit the digestive properties of type II restriction enzymes which bind to the major groove of the DNA. If these compounds do possess the ability to inhibit restriction enzymes, then what factors influence their ability to inhibit the restriction enzymes? The methods used to study the interactions of DNA, compounds, and enzymes are gel electrophoresis, DNA thermal melting, and circular dichroism. The results from this project reveal that the minor grove binding compounds are able to inhibition type II restriction enzymes. The inhibition is heavily influenced by compound structure and the DNA binding sequence of the enzyme.