Base pair opening within B-DNA: free energy pathways for GC and AT pairs from umbrella sampling simulations.

Varnai, Peter, Giudice, Emmanuel and Lavery, Richard (2003) Base pair opening within B-DNA: free energy pathways for GC and AT pairs from umbrella sampling simulations. Nucleic Acids Research, 31 (5). pp. 1434-1443. ISSN 0305-1048

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Abstract

The conformational pathways and the free energy variations for base opening into the major and minor grooves of a B-DNA duplex are studied using umbrella sampling molecular dynamics simulations. We compare both GC and AT base pair opening within a double-stranded d(GAGAGAGAGAGAG). d(CTCTCTCTCTCTC) oligomer, and we are also able to study the impact of opening on the conformational and dynamic properties of DNA and on the surrounding solvent. The results indicate a two-stage opening process with an initial coupling of the movements of the bases within the perturbed base pair. Major and minor groove pathways are energetically comparable in the case of the pyrimidine bases, but the major groove pathway is favored for the larger purine bases. Base opening is coupled to changes in specific backbone dihedrals and certain helical distortions, including untwisting and bending, although all these effects are dependent on the particular base involved. Partial opening also leads to well defined water bridging sites, which may play a role in stabilizing the perturbed base pairs.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Chemistry
Depositing User: Peter Varnai
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:55
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 03:42
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22999

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