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Int J Biol Macromol. 2005 Nov 15;37(3):109-14. Epub 2005 Oct 19.

A nature of conformational changes of yeast tRNA(Phe). High hydrostatic pressure effects.

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Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Noskowskiego 12/14, PoznaƄ 61-704, Poland.


We analysed conformational changes of yeast tRNA(Phe) induced by high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) measured by Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) and fluorescence spectroscopies. High pressure influences RNA conformation without other cofactors, such as metal ions and salts. FTIR spectra of yeast tRNA(Phe) recorded at high hydrostatic pressure up to 13 kbar with and without magnesium ions showed a shift of the bands towards higher frequencies. That blue shift is due to an increase a higher energy of bonds as a result of shortening of hydrogen bonds followed by dehydration of tRNA. The fluorescence spectra of Y-base tRNA(Phe) at high pressure up to 3 kbar showed a decrease of the intensity band at 430 nm as a consequence of conformational rearrangement of the anticodon loop leading to exposure of Y-base side chain to the solution. We suggest that structural transition of nucleic acids is driven by the changes of water structure from tetrahedral to a cubic-like geometry induced by high pressure and, in consequence, due to economy of hydration.

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