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Science. 1994 Aug 5;265(5173):777-80.

NMR solution structure of a peptide nucleic acid complexed with RNA.

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Glaxo Research Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.


Peptide nucleic acids (PNA) incorporating nucleic acid bases into an achiral polyamide backbone bind to DNA in a sequence-dependent manner. The structure of a PNA-ribonucleic acid (RNA) complex was determined with nuclear magnetic resonance methods. A hexameric PNA formed a 1:1 complex with a complementary RNA that is an antiparallel, right-handed double helix with Watson-Crick base pairing similar to the "A" form structure of RNA duplexes. The achiral PNA backbone assumed a distinct conformation upon binding that differed from previously proposed models and provides a basis for further structure-based design of antisense agents.

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