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Interactions between metal ions and DNA

Cardin, C. J. (2019) Interactions between metal ions and DNA. In: Structure and Bonding. Springer, pp. 203-237.

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/430_2019_42


84 years elapsed between the announcements of the periodic table and that of the DNA double helix in 1953, and the two have been combined in many ways since then. In this chapter an outline of the fundamentals of DNA structure leads into a range of examples showing how the natural magnesium and potassium ions found in nature can be substituted in a diversity of applications. The dynamic structures found in nature have been studied in the more controlled but artificial environment of the DNA crystal using examples from sodium to platinum and also in a range of DNA-binding metal complexes. While NMR is an essential technique for studying nucleic acid structure and conformation, most of our knowledge of metal ion binding has come from X-ray crystallography. These days the structures studied, and therefore also the diversity of metal binding, go beyond the double helix to triplexes, hairpin loops, junctions and quadruplexes, and the chapter describes briefly how these pieces fit into the DNA jigsaw. In a final section, the roles of metal cations in the crystallisation of new DNA structures are discussed, along with an introduction to the versatility of the periodic table of absorption edges for nucleic acid structure determination.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:88302


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