Identification of a pKa-regulating motif stabilizing imidazole-modified double-stranded DNA

Dieter Buyst, Vicky Gheerardijn, Krisztina Fehér, Bjorn Van Gasse, Jos Van Den Begin, José C. Martins, Annemieke Madder
2014 Nucleic Acids Research  
The predictable 3D structure of double-stranded DNA renders it ideally suited as a template for the bottomup design of functionalized nucleic acid-based active sites. We here explore the use of a 14mer DNA duplex as a scaffold for the precise and predictable positioning of catalytic functionalities. Given the ubiquitous participation of the histidine-based imidazole group in protein recognition and catalysis events, single histidine-like modified duplexes were investigated. Tethering histamine
more » ... o the C5 of the thymine base via an amide bond, allows the flexible positioning of the imidazole function in the major groove. The mutual interactions between the imidazole and the duplex and its influence on the imidazolium pKa H are investigated by placing a single modified thymine at four different positions in the center of the 14mer double helix. Using NMR and unrestrained molecular dynamics, a structural motif involving the formation of a hydrogen bond between the imidazole and the Hoogsteen side of the guanine bases of two neighboring GC base pairs is established. The motif contributes to a stabilization against thermal melting of 6 • C and is key in modulating the pKa H of the imidazolium group. The general features, prerequisites and generic character of the new pKa H -regulating motif are described.
doi:10.1093/nar/gku1306 pmid:25520197 pmcid:PMC4288195 fatcat:ws4mppz7k5drxgux4zw6sbstsa