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The solution structure of the self-complementary deca-ribonucleotide 5'- r(GCGA*AUUCGC)-3' containing 9-[2-O-(β-D-ribofuranosyl)-β-D- ribofuranosyl]adenine (A*), a modified nucleotide that occurs in lower eukaryotic methionine initiator tRNAs (tRNAs(i)(Met)), was determined by NMR spectroscopy. Unexpectedly, the modification has no effect on the thermal stability of the duplex. However, the extra ribose moiety is in the C(3')- endo conformation and takes up a well-defined position in the minor groove, which is in agreement with its position in tRNAs(i)(Met) as determined by X- ray crystallography. Molecular-dynamics simulations on the RNA duplex in H2O show that the position of the extra ribofuranose moiety seems to be stabilized by bridged H-bonds (mediated by two H2O molecules) to the backbone of the complementary chain.

Original publication




Journal article


Helvetica Chimica Acta

Publication Date





1278 - 1289