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Helical Structure and Circular Dichroism Spectra of DNA: a Theoretical Study

The journal of physical chemistry. A | 14 Dec 2012

T Miyahara, H Nakatsuji and H Sugiyama
Abstract
The helical structure is experimentally determined by circular dichroism (CD) spectra. The sign and shape of the CD spectra are different between B-DNA with a right-handed double-helical structure and Z-DNA with a left-handed double-helical structure. In particular, the sign at around 295 nm in CD spectra is positive for B-DNA, which is opposite to that of Z-DNA. However, it is difficult to determine the helical structure from the UV absorption spectra. Three important factors that affect the CD spectra of DNA are 1) the conformation of dG monomer, 2) the hydrogen-bonding interaction between two helices and 3) the stacking interaction between nucleic acid bases. We calculated the CD spectra of 1) the dG monomer at different conformations, 2) the composite of dG and dC monomers, 3) two dimer models that simulate separately the hydrogen-bonding interaction and the stacking interaction and 4) the tetramer model that includes both hydrogen-bonding and stacking interactions simultaneously. The helical structure of DNA can be clarified by a comparison of the experimental and SAC-CI theoretical CD spectra of DNA and that the sign at around 295 nm of the CD spectra of Z-DNA reflects from the strong stacking interaction characteristic of its helical structure.
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Concepts
Protein, Helices, Double helix, Monomer, Nucleic acid, Alpha helix, Circular dichroism, DNA
MeSH headings
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