Methylene Blue Binding to DNA with Alternating AT Base Sequence: Minor Groove Binding is Favored over Intercalation

Remo Rohs, Heinz Sklenar
2004 Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics  
The results presented in this paper on methylene blue (MB) binding to DNA with AT alternating base sequence complement the data obtained in two former modeling studies of MB binding to GC alternating DNA. In the light of the large amount of experimental data for both systems, this theoretical study is focused on a detailed energetic analysis and comparison in order to understand their different behavior. Since experimental high-resolution structures of the complexes are not available, the
more » ... is is based on energy minimized structural models of the complexes in different binding modes. For both sequences, four different intercalation structures and two models for MB binding in the minor and major groove have been proposed. Solvent electrostatic effects were included in the energetic analysis by using electrostatic continuum theory, and the dependence of MB binding on salt concentration was investigated by solving the non-linear Poisson-Boltzmann equation. We find that the relative stability of the different complexes is similar for the two sequences, in agreement with the interpretation of spectroscopic data. Subtle differences, however, are seen in energy decompositions and can be attributed to the change from symmetric 5'-YpR-3' intercalation to minor groove binding with increasing salt concentration, which is experimentally observed for the AT sequence at lower salt concentration than for the GC sequence. According to our results, this difference is due to the significantly lower non-electrostatic energy for the minor groove complex with AT alternating DNA, whereas the slightly lower binding energy to this sequence is caused by a higher deformation energy of DNA. The energetic data are in agreement with the conclusions derived from different spectroscopic studies and can also be structurally interpreted on the basis of the modeled complexes. The simple static modeling technique and the neglect of entropy terms and of non-electrostatic solute-solvent interactions, which are assumed to be nearly constant for the compared complexes of MB with DNA, seem to be justified by the results.
doi:10.1080/07391102.2004.10506960 pmid:14769063 fatcat:hlk3ro3qdfaoneuttz5javfdzm