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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Guanine is indispensable for immunoglobulin switch region RNA-DNA hybrid formation.

It is suggested that the formation of the switch (S) region RNA-DNA hybrid and the subsequent generation of higher-order chromatin structures including R-loop initiate a class switch recombination of the immunoglobulin gene. The primary factor of this recombination is the S-region derived noncoding RNA. However, the biochemical character of this guanine-rich (G-rich) transcript is poorly understood. The present study was performed to analyze the structure of this G-rich RNA using atomic force microscope (AFM). The in vitro transcribed S-region RNA was spread on a mica plate, air-dried and observed by non-contact mode AFM in air. The G-rich transcripts tend to aggregate on the template DNA and to generate a higher-order RNA-DNA complex. However, the transcripts that incorporated guanine analogues as substitutes for guanine neither aggregated nor generated higher-order structures. Incorporation of guanine analogues in transcribed RNA partially disrupts hydrogen bonds related to guanine, such as Watson-Crick GC-base pair and Hoogsteen bond GG-base pair. Thus, aggregation of S-region RNA and generation of the higher-order RNA-DNA complex are attributed to hydrogen bonds of guanine.[1]


  1. Guanine is indispensable for immunoglobulin switch region RNA-DNA hybrid formation. Mizuta, R., Mizuta, M., Kitamura, D. Journal of electron microscopy. (2005) [Pubmed]
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