2d lh and 31p nmr spectra and distorted a-dna-like duplex structure of a phosphorodithioate oligonucleotide

Yesun Cho, Frank C. Zhu, Bruce A. Luxon, David G. Gorenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Assignment of the1H and3IP NMR spectra of a phosphorodithioate modified oligonucleotide decamer duplex, d(CGCTTpS2AAGCG)2(10-mer-S; a site of dithioate substitution is designated with the symbols Ps2), was achieved by two-dimensional homonuclearTOCSY, NOESY and1H-31P Pure Absorption phase Constant time (PAC) heteronuclear correlation spectroscopy. In contrast to the parent palindromic decamer sequence (1) which has been shown to exist entirely in the duplex B-DNA conformation under comparable conditions (100 mM KC1), the dithiophosphate analogue forms a hairpin loop. However, the duplex form of the dithioate oligonucleotide can be stabilized at lower temperatures, higher salt and strand concentration. The solution structure of the decamer duplex was calculated by an iterative hybrid relaxation matrix method (MORASS) combined with 2D NOESY-distance restrained molecular dynamics. These backbone modified compounds, potentially attractive antisense oligonucleotide agents, are often assumed to possess similar structure as the parent nucleic acid complex. Importantly, the refined structure of the phosphorodithioate duplex shows a significant deviation from the parent unmodified, phosphoryl duplex. An overall bend and unwinding in the phosphorodithioate duplex is observed. The structural distortion of the phosphorodithioate duplex was confirmed by comparison of helicoidal parameters and groove dimensions. Especially, the helical twists of the phosphorodithioate decamer deviate significantly from the parent phosphoryl decamer. The minor groove width of phosphorodithioate duplex 10- mer-S varies between 8.4 and 13.3 Å which is much wider than those of the parent phosphoryl decamer d(CGCTTAAGCG)2(4.2~9.4 Å). The larger minor groove width of 10-mer-S duplex contributes to the unwinding of the backbone and indicates that the duplex has an overall A- DNA-like conformation in the region surrounding the dithiophosphate modification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-702
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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