Sequence-specific B-DNA flexibility modulates Z-DNA formation.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Conversion of right-handed B-DNA into left-handed Z-DNA is one of the largest structural transitions in biology that plays fundamental roles in gene expression and regulation. Z-DNA segments must form within genomes surrounded by a sea of B-DNA and require creation of energetically costly B/Z junctions. Here, we show using a combination of natural abundance NMR R(1ρ) carbon relaxation measurements and CD spectroscopy that sequence-specific B-DNA flexibility modulates the thermodynamic propensity to form Z-DNA and the location of B/Z junctions. We observe sequence-specific flexibility in B-DNA spanning fast (ps-ns) and slow (μs-ms) time scales localized at the site of B/Z junction formation. Further, our studies show that CG-repeats play an active role tuning this intrinsic B-DNA flexibility. Taken together, our results suggest that sequence-specific B-DNA flexibility may provide a mechanism for defining the length and location of Z-DNA in genomes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bothe, JR; Lowenhaupt, K; Al-Hashimi, HM

Published Date

  • February 23, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 133 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 2016 - 2018

PubMed ID

  • 21275369

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3319140

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1520-5126

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/ja1073068


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States