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X-ray (2.3 Å)
Native structure of intercalation-locked DNA tetraplex
Tripathi S, Zhang D, Paukstelis PJ (2015): "An intercalation-locked parallel-stranded DNA tetraplex." Nucleic Acids Res., 43, 1937-1944. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv033.
DNA has proved to be an excellent material for nanoscale construction because complementary DNA duplexes are programmable and structurally predictable. However, in the absence of Watson-Crick pairings, DNA can be structurally more diverse. Here, we describe the crystal structures of d(ACTCGGATGAT) and the brominated derivative, d(AC(Br)UCGGA(Br)UGAT). These oligonucleotides form parallel-stranded duplexes with a crystallographically equivalent strand, resulting in the first examples of DNA crystal structures that contains four different symmetric homo base pairs. Two of the parallel-stranded duplexes are coaxially stacked in opposite directions and locked together to form a tetraplex through intercalation of the 5'-most A-A base pairs between adjacent G-G pairs in the partner duplex. The intercalation region is a new type of DNA tertiary structural motif with similarities to the i-motif. (1)H-(1)H nuclear magnetic resonance and native gel electrophoresis confirmed the formation of a parallel-stranded duplex in solution. Finally, we modified specific nucleotide positions and added d(GAY) motifs to oligonucleotides and were readily able to obtain similar crystals. This suggests that this parallel-stranded DNA structure may be useful in the rational design of DNA crystals and nanostructures.

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