Pyrimidine 5-methyl groups influence the magnitude of DNA curvature

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Abstract

DNA containing short sequences of the form (dA)n-(dT)n can exhibit pronounced degrees of stable curvature of the helix axis, provided that these homooligomeric stretches are approximately in phase with the helix repeat. However, the precise origin of this effect is unknown. We have observed that pyrimidine 5-methyl groups can have a significant effect on the degree of curvature, depending on their locations within the homooligomeric sequences. Such effects are observed in both (dA)n·(dT/dU)n and (dI)n·(dC/d5meC)n sequence motifs, arguing for a general structural perturbation due to the methyl group. The current observations suggest that pyrimidine methyl groups could influence protein-DNA interactions not only through direct protein-methyl group contacts but also by methyl group induced alterations in local DNA structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1980-1983
Number of pages4
JournalBiochemistry®
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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