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Biochemistry. 1991 Oct 8;30(40):9791-8.

Sequence specificity in triple-helix formation: experimental and theoretical studies of the effect of mismatches on triplex stability.

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Laboratoire de Biophysique, INSERM U201, CNRS UA481, Paris, France.


The specificity of a homopyrimidine oligonucleotide binding to a homopurine-homopyrimidine sequence on double-stranded DNA was investigated by both molecular modeling and thermal dissociation experiments. The presence of a single mismatched triplet at the center of the triplex was shown to destabilize the triple helix, leading to a lower melting temperature and a less favorable energy of interaction. A terminal mismatch was less destabilizing than a central mismatch. The extent of destabilization was shown to be dependent on the nature of the mismatch. Both single base-pair substitution and deletion in the duplex DNA target were investigated. When a homopurine stretch was interrupted by one thymine, guanine was the least destabilizing base on the third strand. However, G in the third strand did not discriminate between a C.G and an A.T base pair. If the stretch of purines was interrupted by a cytosine, the presence of pyrimidines (C or T) in the third strand yielded a less destabilizing effect than purines. This study shows that oligonucleotides forming triple helices can discriminate between duplex DNA sequences that differ by one base pair. It provides a basis for the choice of antigene oligonucleotide sequences targeted to selected sequences on duplex DNA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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