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Hydrogen bonding, base stacking, and steric effects in dna replication.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA. kool@stanford.edu

Abstract

Understanding the mechanisms by which genetic information is replicated is important both to basic knowledge of biological organisms and to many useful applications in biomedical research and biotechnology. One of the main functions of a DNA polymerase enzyme is to help DNA recognize itself with high specificity when a strand is being copied. Recent studies have shed new light on the question of what physical forces cause a polymerase enzyme to insert a nucleotide into a strand of DNA and to choose the correct nucleotide over the incorrect ones. This is discussed in the light of three main forces that govern DNA recognition: base stacking, Watson-Crick hydrogen bonding, and steric interactions. These factors are studied with natural and structurally altered DNA nucleosides.

PMID:
11340050
DOI:
10.1146/annurev.biophys.30.1.1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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