Base stacking and molecular polarizability: effect of a methyl group in the 5-position of pyrimidines.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Substitution of a methyl group in the 5-position of pyrimidines increases melting temperatures and modifies biological properties of DNA. Increased DNA stability is often attributed to hydrophobic interactions between water and the methyl group. However, we present evidence that the major effect of methyl substitution is to increase the molecular polarizability of the pyrimidine, thereby increasing the base stacking. Experimentally determined base stacking interaction constants for free bases in water are shown to correlate well with calculated molecular polarizability and DNA melting temperatures.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sowers, LC; Shaw, BR; Sedwick, WD

Published Date

  • October 1, 1987

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 148 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 790 - 794

PubMed ID

  • 3689373

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1090-2104

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-291X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0006-291x(87)90945-4


  • eng