DNA structural changes induced by intermolecular triple helix formation

Ibrahim Sayoh, David A. Rusling, Tom Brown, Keith R Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DNase I footprints of intermolecular DNA triplexes are often accompanied by enhanced cleavage at the 3'-end of the target site at the triplex-duplex junction. We have systematically studied the sequence dependence of this effect by examining oligonucleotide binding to sites flanked by each base in turn. For complexes with a terminal T.AT triplet, the greatest enhancement is seen with ApC, followed by ApG and ApT, with the weakest enhancement at ApA. Similar DNase I enhancements were observed for a triplex with a terminal C+.GC triplet, though with little difference between the different GpN sites. Enhanced reactivity to diethylpyrocarbonate was observed at As that flank the triplex-duplex junction at AAA or AAC but not AAG or AAT. Fluorescence melting experiments demonstrated that the flanking base affected the stability with a 4 °C difference in T m between a flanking C and G. Sequences that produced the strongest enhancement correlated with those having the lower thermal stability. These results are interpreted in terms of oligonucleotide-induced changes in DNA structure and/or flexibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1679-1687
Number of pages9
JournalACS Omega
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2020


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