Evidence for Hoogsteen GC Base Pairs in the Proton-Induced Transition from Right-Handed to Left-Handed Poly(dG-dC) . Poly(dG-dC)

Gezina M.J. Segers-Nolten, N.M. Sijtsema, Cornelis Otto

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The structure of double-helical poly(dG-dC)·poly(dG-dC) is investigated at various pH values with Raman spectroscopy, absorption spectroscopy, and circular dichroism. A comparison is made between the B-form with Watson−Crick base pairing at 1 mM [Na+] and pH 7.2, the Z-form with Watson−Crick base pairing at 4 M [Na+] and pH 7.2, and a different structure at 1 mM [Na+] and pH 4.5 as well as at 150 mM [Na+] and pH 3.1. The CD spectrum of poly(dG-dC)·poly(dG-dC) under the latter conditions does not show a negative band at 290 nm. The structure is a double-helical structure different from the B-form and the Z-form according to circular dichroism, Raman, and absorption spectroscopic studies. The Raman spectra evidence that the structure contains Hoogsteen base pairing. This can be accommodated in the double helix when the cytosine group is protonated and the sugar−guanine conformer has adopted a C2‘-endo/syn conformation. It is shown that this antiparallel-stranded Hoogsteen base paired structure can be maintained under varying conditions, balancing the decrease in pH with an increased salt concentration. It is further concluded that the proton-induced transition from a Watson−Crick to a Hoogsteen base pair is aided by a decrease of [Na+] at pH 4.5 and occurs prior to a conversion from a right-handed helix to a left-handed helix
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)13241-13247
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemistry (USA)
Issue number43
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • METIS-129311
  • IR-96421

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