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Biochemistry. 1992 Sep 15;31(36):8421-8.

Kinetics and energetics of base-pair opening in 5'-d(CGCGAATTCGCG)-3' and a substituted dodecamer containing G.T mismatches.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut 06459.


Proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is used to characterize the kinetics and energetics of base-pair opening in the dodecamers 5'-d(CGCGAATTCGCG)-3' and 5'-d(CGCGAATTTGCG)-3'. The latter dodecamer contains two symmetrical G.T mismatched base pairs. The exchange kinetics of imino protons is measured from resonance line widths and selective longitudinal relaxation times. For the G.T pair, the two imino protons (G-N1H and T-N3H) provide probes for the opening of each base in the mismatched pair. The lifetimes of individual base pairs in the closed state and the equilibrium constants for formation of the open state are obtained from the dependence of the exchange rates on the concentration of ammonia catalyst. The activation energies and standard enthalpy changes for base-pair opening are obtained from the temperature dependence of the lifetimes and equilibrium constants, respectively. The results indicate that the G.T mismatched pairs are kinetically and energetically destabilized relative to normal, Watson-Crick base pairs. The lifetimes of the G.T pairs are of the order of 1 ms or less, over the temperature range from 0 to 20 degrees C. The equilibrium constants for base-pair opening, at 20 degrees C, are increased up to 4000-fold, relative to those of normal base pairs. The energetic destabilization of the G.T base pairs is, at least in part, enthalpic in origin. The presence of the G.T mismatched base pairs destabilizes also neighboring base pairs.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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