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Biochemistry. 1983 Jan 18;22(2):256-63.

Base-stacking and base-pairing contributions to helix stability: thermodynamics of double-helix formation with CCGG, CCGGp, CCGGAp, ACCGGp, CCGGUp, and ACCGGUp.


The thermodynamics of double-helix formation in 1 M NaCl have been measured spectrophotometrically for CCGG, CCGGp, CCGGAp, ACCGGp, CCGGUp, and ACCGGUp. The results indicate additional double-helical stability is conferred by the terminal unpaired bases. The 3' A stabilizes the double helix more than the 5' A or the 3' U. The increased stability is due to a more favorable enthalpy change for double-helix formation. Comparison of the thermodynamics for CCGG, ACCGGp, CCGGUp, and ACCGGUp indicates stacking interactions are somewhat more important than pairing interactions in determining the stability of the terminal AU base pairs in ACCGGUp.

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