Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Comput Aided Mol Des. 2014 Aug;28(8):851-67. doi: 10.1007/s10822-014-9767-6. Epub 2014 Jul 3.

Analysis of stacking overlap in nucleic acid structures: algorithm and application.

Author information

1
Computational Science Division, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, 1/AF Bidhannagar, Kolkata, 700064, India.

Abstract

RNA contains different secondary structural motifs like pseudo-helices, hairpin loops, internal loops, etc. in addition to anti-parallel double helices and random coils. The secondary structures are mainly stabilized by base-pairing and stacking interactions between the planar aromatic bases. The hydrogen bonding strength and geometries of base pairs are characterized by six intra-base pair parameters. Similarly, stacking can be represented by six local doublet parameters. These dinucleotide step parameters can describe the quality of stacking between Watson-Crick base pairs very effectively. However, it is quite difficult to understand the stacking pattern for dinucleotides consisting of non canonical base pairs from these parameters. Stacking interaction is a manifestation of the interaction between two aromatic bases or base pairs and thus can be estimated best by the overlap area between the planar aromatic moieties. We have calculated base pair overlap between two consecutive base pairs as the buried van der Waals surface between them. In general, overlap values show normal distribution for the Watson-Crick base pairs in most double helices within a range from 45 to 50 Å(2) irrespective of base sequence. The dinucleotide steps with non-canonical base pairs also are seen to have high overlap value, although their twist and few other parameters are rather unusual. We have analyzed hairpin loops of different length, bulges within double helical structures and pseudo-continuous helices using our algorithm. The overlap area analyses indicate good stacking between few looped out bases especially in GNRA tetraloop, which was difficult to quantitatively characterise from analysis of the base pair or dinucleotide step parameters. This parameter is also seen to be capable to distinguish pseudo-continuous helices from kinked helix junctions.

PMID:
24990628
DOI:
10.1007/s10822-014-9767-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center