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Inorg Chem. 2007 Nov 26;46(24):10114-9. Epub 2007 Nov 1.

Conformational change induced by metal-ion-binding to DNA containing the artificial 1,2,4-triazole nucleoside.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Dortmund, Otto-Hahn-Strasse 6, 44227 Dortmund, Germany.


A conformational switch can be induced upon the addition of transition-metal ions to oligonucleotides that contain a row of successive artificial nucleobases flanked by complementary sequences of natural nucleobases, provided that the artificial bases cannot undergo self-pairing via hydrogen bonding but only via the formation of metal-ion-mediated base pairs. Such oligonucleotides adopt a hairpin structure in the absence of transition-metal ions, yet they show a preference for the formation of a regular double helix if the appropriate metal ions are present. We report here our experimental data on the structure of the oligonucleotide d(A7X3T7) (A=adenine, T=thymine, X=1,2,4-triazole) in the absence and presence of silver(I). This study comprising temperature-dependent UV spectroscopy, CD spectroscopy, MALDI-TOF measurements, fluorescence spectroscopy, and dynamic light scattering opens up a new approach to the generation of a large variety of metal-ion sensors with the possibility of fine-tuning their sensing capabilities, depending on the artificial nucleoside that is used.

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