The various types of chain folding and possible intraloop as well as interloop base pairing in human telomeric DNA containing d(TTAG3) repeats have been investigated by model-building, molecular mechanics, and molecular dynamics techniques. Model-building and molecular mechanics studies indicate that it is possible to build a variety of energetically favorable folded-back structures with the two TTA loops on same side and the 5' end thymines in the two loops forming TATA tetrads involving a number of different intraloop as well as interloop A:T pairing schemes. In these folded-back structures, although both intraloop and interloop Watson-Crick pairing is feasible, no structure is possible with interloop Hoogsteen pairing. MD studies of representative structures indicate that the guanine-tetraplex stem is very rigid and, while the loop regions are relatively much more flexible, most of the hydrogen bonds remain intact throughout the 350-ps in vacuo simulation. The various possible TTA loop structures, although they are energetically similar, have characteristic inter proton distances, which could give rise to unique cross-peaks in two-dimensional nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy (NOESY) experiments. These folded-back structures with A:T pairings in the loop region help in rationalizing the data from chemical probing and other biochemical studies on human telomeric DNA. © 1995, The Biophysical Society. All rights reserved.
Mohanty, D., & Bansal, M. (1995). Chain folding and A:T pairing in human telomeric DNA: a model-building and molecular dynamics study. Biophysical Journal, 69(3), 1046–1067. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(95)79979-9