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J Am Chem Soc. 2004 Dec 29;126(51):16718-9.

Hydrogen bonds of RNA are stronger than those of DNA, but NMR monitors only presence of methyl substituent in uracil/thymine.

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1
Afdeling Theoretische Chemie, Scheikundig Laboratorium der Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1083, NL-1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Recently, Vakonakis and LiWang (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 5688) reported experimental evidence for stronger hydrogen bonds in RNA A:U than in DNA A:T base pairs, which was based on differences in NMR shielding for adenine C2. We have analyzed the proposed correlation between NMR shielding and hydrogen-bond strength using density functional theory. Although we agree with the conclusion that A:U is more strongly bound, we find no correlation between the hydrogen-bond strength and the NMR shielding of C2. Our study shows that NMR merely probes the presence/absence of the methyl group in thymine/uracil, without any relation to the strength of the hydrogen bonds involved. In other words, one cannot infer the Watson-Crick hydrogen-bond strength from the NMR shielding constant of adenine C2.

PMID:
15612698
DOI:
10.1021/ja045276b
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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