DNA base modification: ionized base pairs and mutagenesis.
The nature of hydrogen bonding between normal and modified bases has been re-examined. It is proposed that hydrogen-bonding schemes may involve tautomeric, ionized or conformational forms (syn, anti and wobble). Several important cases are presented or reviewed in which physical evidence indicates the existence of ionized base pairs. When thermodynamic values determined in aqueous solution under physiological conditions are considered, it can be argued that base ionization will contribute substantially to the stability of many biologically relevant base pairs containing modified bases. A significant incidence of ionized bases in DNA may have important kinetic ramifications for the further chemical reactivity of both the modified base and its cross-strand pairing partner. Moreover, DNA structure at and surrounding ionized base pairs may be altered. For this reason, the model presented in this study should be useful as DNA-sequence analysis becomes more commonly applied to the study of mutagenesis.
Sowers, LC; Shaw, BR; Veigl, ML; Sedwick, WD
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