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Conformational and hydration effects of site-selective sodium, calcium and strontium ion binding to the DNA Holliday junction structure d(TCGGTACCGA)(4)

Thorpe, J.H., Gale, B.C., Teixeira, S.C.M. and Cardin, C.J. (2003) Conformational and hydration effects of site-selective sodium, calcium and strontium ion binding to the DNA Holliday junction structure d(TCGGTACCGA)(4). Journal of Molecular Biology, 327 (1). pp. 97-109. ISSN 0022-2836

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/s0022-2836(03)00088-3


The role of metal ions in determining the solution conformation of the Holliday junction is well established, but to date the picture of metal ion binding from structural studies of the four-way DNA junction is very incomplete. Here we present two refined structures of the Holliday junction formed by the sequence d(TCGGTACCGA) in the presence of Na+ and Ca2+, and separately with Sr2+ to resolutions of 1.85 Angstrom and 1.65 Angstrom, respectively. This sequence includes the ACC core found to promote spontaneous junction formation, but its structure has not previously been reported. Almost complete hydration spheres can be defined for each metal cation. The Na+ sites, the most convincing observation of such sites in junctions to date, are one on either face of the junction crossover region, and stabilise the ordered hydration inside the junction arms. The four Ca2+ sites in the same structure are at the CG/CG steps in the minor groove. The Sr2+ ions occupy the TC/AG, GG/CC, and TA/TA sites in the minor groove, giving ten positions forming two spines of ions, spiralling through the minor grooves within each arm of the stacked-X structure. The two structures were solved in the two different C2 lattices previously observed, with the Sr2+ derivative crystallising in the more highly symmetrical form with two-fold symmetry at its centre. Both structures show an opening of the minor groove face of the junction of 8.4degrees in the Ca2+ and Na+ containing structure, and 13.4degrees in the Sr2+ containing structure. The crossover angles at the junction are 39.3degrees and 43.3degrees, respectively. In addition to this, a relative shift in the base pair stack alignment of the arms of 2.3 Angstrom is observed for the Sr2+ containing structure only. Overall these results provide an insight into the so-far elusive stabilising ion structure for the DNA Holliday junction. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:11665
Uncontrolled Keywords:Holliday junction, four-way junction, strontium spine, sodium binding, calcium binding, T-C-G, CRYSTAL-STRUCTURE, 4-WAY JUNCTIONS, ANGSTROM RESOLUTION, METAL, IONS, B-DNA, A-G, REFINEMENT, SEQUENCE, GEOMETRY

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