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Structural Insights into the Effect of Hydration and Ions on A-Tract DNA: A Molecular Dynamics Study

Madhumalar, A and Bansal, Manju (2003) Structural Insights into the Effect of Hydration and Ions on A-Tract DNA: A Molecular Dynamics Study. In: The Biophysical Journal, 85 (3). pp. 1805-1816.

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DNA structure is known to be sensitive to hydration and ionic environment. To explore the dynamics, hydration, and ion binding features of A-tract sequences, a 7-ns Molecular dynamics (MD) study has been performed on the dodecamer $d(CGCAAATTTGCG)_2$. The results suggest that the intrusion of $Na^+$ ion into the minor groove is a rare event and the structure of this dodecamer is not very sensitive to the location of the sodium ions. The prolonged MD simulation successfully leads to the formation of sequence dependent hydration patterns in the minor groove, often called spine of hydration near the A-rich region and ribbon of hydration near the GC regions. Such sequence dependent differences in the hydration patterns have been seen earlier in the high resolution crystal structure of the Drew-Dickerson sequence, but not reported for the medium resolution structures (2.0~3.0 Å). Several water molecules are also seen in the major groove of the MD simulated structure, though they are not highly ordered over the extended MD. The characteristic narrowing of the minor groove in the A-tract region is seen to precede the formation of the spine of hydration. Finally, the occurrence of cross-strand C2–H2...O2 hydrogen bonds in the minor groove of A-tract sequences is confirmed. These are found to occur even before the narrowing of the minor groove, indicating that such interactions are an intrinsic feature of A-tract sequences.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: The Biophysical Journal
Publisher: The Biophysical Society
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to The Biophysical Society.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Biophysics Unit
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:28
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/7354

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