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Hydration of Watson-Crick base pairs and dehydration of Hoogsteen base pairs inducing structural polymorphism under molecular crowding conditions



Hydration of Watson-Crick base pairs and dehydration of Hoogsteen base pairs inducing structural polymorphism under molecular crowding conditions



Journal of the American Chemical Society 131(10): 3522-3531



It has been revealed recently that molecular crowding, which is one of the largest differences between in vivo and in vitro conditions, is a critical factor determining the structure, stability, and function of nucleic acids. However, the effects of molecular crowding on Watson-Crick and Hoogsteen base pairs remain unclear. In order to investigate directly and quantitatively the molecular crowding effects on base pair types in nucleic acids, we designed intramolecular parallel- and antiparallel-stranded DNA duplexes consisting of Hoogsteen and Watson-Crick base pairs, respectively, as well as an intramolecular parallel-stranded triplex containing both types of base pairs. Thermodynamic analyses demonstrated that the values of free energy change at 25 degrees C for Hoogsteen base-pair formations decreased from +1.45 +/- 0.15 to +1.09 +/- 0.13 kcal mol(-1), and from -1.89 +/- 0.13 to -2.71 +/- 0.11 kcal mol(-1) in the intramolecular duplex and triplex, respectively, when the concentration of PEG 200 (polyethylene glycol with average molecular weight 200) increased from 0 to 20 wt %. However, corresponding values for Watson-Crick formation in the duplex and triplex increased from -10.2 +/- 0.2 to -8.7 +/- 0.1 kcal mol(-1), and from -10.8 +/- 0.2 to -9.2 +/- 0.2 kcal mol(-1), respectively. Furthermore, it was revealed that the opposing effects of molecular crowding on the Hoogsteen and Watson-Crick base pairs were due to different behaviors of water molecules binding to the DNA strands.

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Accession: 053620067

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 19236045

DOI: 10.1021/ja805972a


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