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Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2009 Oct;159(1):261-9. doi: 10.1007/s12010-008-8390-1. Epub 2008 Oct 18.

Direct observation of single molecule conformational change of tight-turn paperclip DNA triplex in solution.

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Institute of Chemistry, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.


DNA triplex modulates gene expression by forming stable conformation in physiological condition. However, it is not feasible to observe this unique molecular structure of large molecule with 54 oligodeoxynucleotides directly by conventional nuclear magnetic approach. In this study, we observed directly single molecular images of paperclip DNA triplexes formation in a buffer solution of pH 6.0 by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Meanwhile, a diffuse "tail" of unwound DNA was observed in pH 8.0 solution. This designable approach in visualizing the overall structures and shapes of oligo-DNAs at the single molecular level, by AFM, is applicable to other biopolymers as well.

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