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Biochemistry. 1994 Sep 20;33(37):11349-54.

The stability and structure of tandem GA mismatches in RNA depend on closing base pairs.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Rochester, New York 14627-0216, USA.


UV melting and imino proton NMR studies show that the stabilities and structures of tandem GA mismatches in RNA are dependent upon the closing base pairs around these mismatches. Internal loops of sequence 5'XGAY3'3'YAGXS' and 5'XAGY3'3'YGAX5' in the middle of octanucleotides have a range of stabilities over 5 kcal/mol when XY is a Watson-Crick or GU pair. The order of stabilities for these internal loops is 5'-GGAC-3' > UGAG, CGAG > AGAU > UGAA > GGAU. The motifs GGAC, UGAG, and CGAG are stabilizing, while the other GA motifs are destabilizing. The GAGC motif is more stable than CAGG and CGAG, but less stable than GGAC. Chemical shifts for imino protons suggest that the G imino proton of each GA mismatch in 5'-GGAC-3', 5'-GAGC-3', and 5'-CAGG-3' [SantaLucia, J., Jr., Kierzek, R., & Turner, D. H. (1990) Biochemistry 29, 8813-8819] is involved in a hydrogen bond to the base A, whereas in other 5'-XGAY-3' sequences, it is not involved in a hydrogen bond to the base A.

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