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J Am Chem Soc. 2004 Feb 4;126(4):1088-95.

Influences of ribonucleotide on a duplex conformation and its thermal stability: study with the chimeric RNA-DNA strands.

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High Technology Research Center, Konan University, 8-9-1 Okamoto, Higashinada-ku, Kobe, 658-8501, Japan.


To understand the influences of the ribonucleotide on a duplex conformation and its stability, we systematically studied the CD spectra and the thermodynamics of nucleic acid duplexes formed by the chimeric RNA-DNA strand in which ribonucleotides and deoxyribonucleotides were covalently attached. It was found that the duplex stability was context-dependent and independent of the number of ribonucleotides in the chimeric strand, whereas the CD spectra showed less overall structural perturbation by the chimeric junctions. Combining the results of the CD and the thermodynamic data revealed a stability-structure relationship for the duplexes. Importantly, DeltaG(o)37 values estimated for the chimeric junction formation in the RNA-DNA/DNA and the RNA-DNA/RNA duplexes were close to those of RNA/DNA and RNA/RNA interactions, respectively. Furthermore, DeltaG(o)37s of the DNA-RNA/DNA and DNA-RNA/DNA-RNA junctions were similar to those of the DNA duplex, and the values of DNA-RNA/RNA-DNA were similar to those of the DNA/RNA. The thermodynamic analyses suggest that the 5'-nucleotide may be the crucial factor that determines the stability at the chimeric junction. Our results not only suggest influences of the ribonucleotide on a duplex conformation and its stability but also are useful for the design of RNA-DNA chimeric strands applicable to biotechnology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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