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

Hoogsteen base pairs proximal and distal to echinomycin binding sites on DNA.

Forms of the DNA double helix containing non-Watson-Crick base-pairing have been discovered recently based on x-ray diffraction analysis of quinoxaline antibiotic-oligonucleotide complexes. In an effort to find evidence for Hoogsteen base-pairing at quinoxaline-binding sites in solution, chemical "footprinting" (differential cleavage reactivity) of echinomycin bound to DNA restriction fragments was examined. We report that purines (A greater than G) in the first and/or fourth base-pair positions of occupied echinomycin-binding sites are hyperreactive to diethyl pyrocarbonate. The correspondence of the solid-state data and the sites of diethyl pyrocarbonate hyperreactivity suggests that diethyl pyrocarbonate may be a sensitive reagent for the detection of Hoogsteen base-pairing in solution. Moreover, a 12-base-pair segment of alternating A-T DNA, which is 6 base pairs away from the nearest strong echinomycin-binding site, is also hyperreactive to diethyl pyrocarbonate in the presence of echinomycin. This hyperreactive segment may be an altered form of right-handed DNA that is entirely Hoogsteen base-paired.[1]


  1. Hoogsteen base pairs proximal and distal to echinomycin binding sites on DNA. Mendel, D., Dervan, P.B. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1987) [Pubmed]
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