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J Am Chem Soc. 2004 Mar 17;126(10):3040-1.

Selective pairing of polyfluorinated DNA bases.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305-5080, USA.


Novel selective non-hydrogen-bonding DNA base pairs utilizing fluorinated nucleoside analogues have been investigated. Melting studies of DNA duplexes containing 2,3,4,5-tetrafluorobenzene and 4,5,6,7-tetrafluoroindole bases on opposite strands show greater stabilization of the duplex compared with nonfluorinated hydrocarbon controls. Overall, these hydrophobic analogues are destabilizing compared with natural base pairs but are stabilizing compared with natural base mismatches. Such selective pairing may be due to solvent avoidance of these hydrophobic structures, burying their surfaces within the duplex. Our findings suggest that polyfluoroaromatic bases might be employed as a new, selective base-pairing system orthogonal to the natural genetic system.

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