Guanine to inosine substitution leads to large increases in the population of a transient G·C Hoogsteen base pair.
We recently showed that Watson-Crick base pairs in canonical duplex DNA exist in dynamic equilibrium with G(syn)·C+ and A(syn)·T Hoogsteen base pairs that have minute populations of ∼1%. Here, using nuclear magnetic resonance R1ρ relaxation dispersion, we show that substitution of guanine with the naturally occurring base inosine results in an ∼17-fold increase in the population of transient Hoogsteen base pairs, which can be rationalized by the loss of a Watson-Crick hydrogen bond. These results provide further support for transient Hoogsteen base pairs and demonstrate that their population can increase significantly upon damage or chemical modification of the base.
Nikolova, EN; Stull, F; Al-Hashimi, HM
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