Solution structure of a hexitol nucleic acid duplex with four consecutive T·T base pairs
Lescrinier E., Esnouf RM., Schraml J., Busson R., Herdewijn P.
The structure of the hexitol nucleic acid (HNA) h(GCGCTTTTGCGC) was determined by NMR spectroscopy. This unnatural nucleic acid was developed as a mimic for A-RNA. In solution, the studied sequence is forming a symmetric double-stranded structure with four central consecutive T·T wobble pairs flanked by G·C Watson-Crick base pairs. The stem regions adopt an A-type helical structure. Discrete changes in backbone angles are altering the course of the helix axis in the internal loop region. Two H-bonds are formed in each wobble pair, and base stacking is preserved in the duplex, explaining the stability of the duplex. This structure elucidation provides information about the influence of a (T)4 fragment on local helix geometries as well as on the nature of the T·T mismatch base pairing in a TTTT tract.