Potential of mean force calculations of the stacking-unstacking process in single-stranded deoxyribodinucleoside monophosphates

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Abstract

The free energy of the stacking-unstacking process of deoxyribodinucleoside monophosphates in aqueous solution has been investigated by potential of mean force calculations along a reaction coordinate, defined by the distance between the glycosidic nitrogen atoms of the bases. The stacking-unstacking process of a ribodinucleoside monophosphate was observed to be well characterized by this coordinate, which has the advantage that it allows for a dynamical backbone and flexible bases. All 16 naturally occurring DNA dimers composed of the adenine, cytosine, guanine, or thymine bases in both the 5' and the 3' positions were studied. From the free-energy profiles we observed the deepest minima for the stacked states of the purine-purine dimers, but good stacking was also observed for the purine-pyrimidine and pyrimidine-purine dimers. Substantial stacking ability was found for the dimers composed of a thymine base and a purine base and also for the deoxythymidylyl-3',5'-deoxythymidine dimer. Very poor stacking was observed for the dCpdC dimer. Conformational properties and solvent accessibility are discussed for the stacked and unstacked dimers. The potential of mean force profiles of the stacking-unstacking process for the DNA dimers are compared with the RNA dimers. © 1995, The Biophysical Society. All rights reserved.

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Norberg, J., & Nilsson, L. (1995). Potential of mean force calculations of the stacking-unstacking process in single-stranded deoxyribodinucleoside monophosphates. Biophysical Journal, 69(6), 2277–2285. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(95)80098-6

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