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Biochemistry. 1995 Feb 21;34(7):2372-80.

DNA duplexes flanked by hybrid duplexes: the solution structure of chimeric junctions in [r(cgcg)d(TATACGCG)]2.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


Hybrid duplexes and chimeric duplexes containing hybrid segments linked to pure DNA (or pure RNA) segments are involved in transcription and replication, as well as reverse transcription. A complete understanding of the mechanism of these processes requires detailed information on such duplexes and the junctions between duplexes of differing structure. Using two-dimensional NMR, restrained molecular dynamics and mechanics, and back-calculation refinement against the nuclear Overhauser effect spectra at various mixing times, we have determined the solution structure of the chimeric duplex [r(cgcg)d-(TATACGCG)]2 containing a pure DNA segment in the center of a hybrid duplex. The solution structure differs from the previously determined X-ray structure of the analogous duplex [r(gcg)d(TATACGC)]2, which was found to be A-form throughout [Wang, A.H.-J., et al. (1982) Nature 299, 601-604]. The basic features of the solution structure are (a) the RNA residues are all A-form with C3'-endo sugar conformations, (b) the central DNA segment is B-form, (c) the transition from A-form RNA sugar conformations to B-form DNA sugar conformations involves only the dT5 base step, and (d) although the sugar conformations of the DNA residues A6-G12 are closer to B-form, the basic helical properties of the peripheral RNA.DNA hybrid segments are closer to typical A-form than to B-form.

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