Tight binding of the 5' exon to domain I of a group II self-splicing intron requires completion of the intron active site.
Group II self-splicing requires the 5' exon to form base pairs with two stretches of intronic sequence (EBS1 and EBS2) which also bind the DNA target during retrotransposition of the intron. We have used dimethyl sulfate modification of bases to obtain footprints of the 5' exon on intron Pl.LSU/2 from the mitochondrion of the alga Pylaiella littoralis, as well as on truncated intron derivatives. Aside from the EBS sites, which are part of the same subdomain (ID) of ribozyme secondary structure, three distant adenines become either less or more sensitive to modification in the presence of the exon. Unexpectedly, one of these adenines in subdomain IC1 is footprinted only in the presence of the distal helix of domain V, which is involved in catalysis. While the loss of that footprint is accompanied by a 100-fold decrease in the affinity for the exon, both protection from modification and efficient binding can be restored by a separate domain V transcript, whose binding results in its own, concise footprint on domains I and III. Possible biological implications of the need for the group II active site to be complete in order to observe high-affinity binding of the 5' exon to domain I are discussed. (+info
Single atom modification (O-->S) of tRNA confers ribosome binding.
Escherichia coli tRNALysSUU, as well as human tRNALys3SUU, has 2-thiouridine derivatives at wobble position 34 (s2U*34). Unlike the native tRNALysSUU, the full-length, unmodified transcript of human tRNALys3UUU and the unmodified tRNALys3UUU anticodon stem/loop (ASLLys3UUU) did not bind AAA- or AAG-programmed ribosomes. In contrast, the completely unmodified yeast tRNAPhe anticodon stem/loop (ASLPheGAA) had an affinity (Kd = 136+/-49 nM) similar to that of native yeast tRNAPheGmAA (Kd = 103+/-19 nM). We have found that the single, site-specific substitution of s2U34 for U34 to produce the modified ASLLysSUU was sufficient to restore ribosomal binding. The modified ASLLysSUU bound the ribosome with an affinity (Kd = 176+/-62 nM) comparable to that of native tRNALysSUU (Kd = 70+/-7 nM). Furthermore, in binding to the ribosome, the modified ASLLys3SUU produced the same 16S P-site tRNA footprint as did native E. coli tRNALysSUU, yeast tRNAPheGmAA, and the unmodified ASLPheGAA. The unmodified ASLLys3UUU had no footprint at all. Investigations of thermal stability and structure monitored by UV spectroscopy and NMR showed that the dynamic conformation of the loop of modified ASLLys3SUU was different from that of the unmodified ASLLysUUU, whereas the stems were isomorphous. Based on these and other data, we conclude that s2U34 in tRNALysSUU and in other s2U34-containing tRNAs is critical for generating an anticodon conformation that leads to effective codon interaction in all organisms. This is the first example of a single atom substitution (U34-->s2U34) that confers the property of ribosomal binding on an otherwise inactive tRNA. (+info
Scrotal heat stress induces altered sperm chromatin structure associated with a decrease in protamine disulfide bonding in the stallion.
A variety of testicular insults can induce changes in the structure of spermatozoal chromatin, resulting in spermatozoal DNA that is more susceptible to acid-induced denaturation. The degree of change in the DNA can be measured using the sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA). The SCSA measures the relative amounts of single- and double-stranded DNA after staining with the metachromatic dye, acridine orange. Here we used a stallion model (n = 4) to study the effects of scrotal heat stress on spermatozoal DNA. This model was created by insulating stallion testes for 48 h and collecting sperm daily thereafter for 60 days. Changes in the SCSA were then correlated with protamine disulfide content and protamine types and levels. Results of the SCSA indicated that the susceptibility of spermatozoal DNA to denaturation was dependent on the spermatogenic cell stage that the ejaculated sperm was in at the time of the heat stress. Spermatozoa with altered DNA had a decrease in the extent of disulfide bonding that was associated with an increase in the susceptibility of DNA to denaturation. However, there were no detectable changes in either the protamine type or level. Thus, in this model, decreased disulfide bonding is associated with an increased susceptibility of spermatozoal DNA to denaturation in the absence of protamine changes. (+info
Base pairing of anhydrohexitol nucleosides with 2,6-diaminopurine, 5-methylcytosine and uracil asbase moiety.
Hexitol nucleic acids (HNAs) with modified bases (5-methylcytosine, 2,6-diaminopurine or uracil) were synthesized. The introduction of the 5-methylcytosine base demonstrates that N -benzoylated 5-methylcytosyl-hexitol occurs as the imino tautomer. The base pairing systems (G:CMe, U:D, T:D and U:A) obey Watson-Crick rules. Substituting hT for hU, hCMefor hC and hD for hA generally leads to increased duplex stability. In a single case, replacement of hC by hCMedid not result in duplex stabilization. This sequence-specific effect could be explained by the geometry of the model duplex used for carrying out the thermal stability study. Generally, polypurine HNA sequences give more stable duplexes with their RNA complement than polypyrimidine HNA sequences. This observation supports the hypothesis that, besides changes in stacking pattern, the difference in conformational stress between purine and pyrimidine nucleosides may contribute to duplex stability. Introduction of hCMeand hD in HNA sequences further increases the potential of HNA to function as a steric blocking agent. (+info
Smoothing of the thermal stability of DNA duplexes by using modified nucleosides and chaotropic agents.
The effect of alkyltrimethylammonium ions on the thermostability of natural and modified DNA duplexes has been investigated. We have shown that the use of tetramethylammonium ions TMA+along with the chemical modification of duplexes allow the fine adjustment of T m and the possibility of obtaining several duplex systems with varied isostabilizedtemperatures, some of which show greater stability than those of natural DNA. This approach could be very useful for DNA sequencing by hybridization. (+info
Low temperature cycled PCR protocol for Klenow fragment of DNA polymerase I in the presence of proline.
A method for performing cycled PCR at low temperatures, using the thermolabile Klenow fragment of DNA polymerase I, is reported. Application of proline as a buffer additive in the range of 3.0-5.5 M remarkably increases the thermal stability of the polymerase and decreases the denaturation temperature of DNAtemplate. This method might be applicable to a broad spectrum of thermolabile DNA polymerases in cycled PCR and other methods of DNA amplification. (+info
Conformational state of DNA in chromatin subunits. Circular dichroism, melting, and ethidium bromide binding analysis.
This study compares some physical properties of DNA in native chromatin and mono-, di-, trinucleosomes obtained after mild micrococcal nuclease digestion. Melting curves and derivatives are shown to be very similar from one sample to another although a shift from 79 to 82 degrees C is observed between the mainly monophasic peak of multimers and chromatin. Careful analysis of the positive band of the circular dichroism spectra shows the appearance of a shoulder at 275nm, the intensity of which increases from the mono- to the di- and trinucleosome. This shoulder is maximum for native chromatin. At the same time binding isotherms of ethidium - bromide are characterized by two highly fluorescent binding sites for all the samples but the product KN of the apparent binding constant of the higher affinity binding sites by the apparent number of those sites increases from the mono- to the di- and trinucleosome. There again the valus is maximum for native chromatin. Such results strongly suggest that the native state of chromatin requires something more than the indefinite repeat of an elementary subunit. (+info
On the character of the thermodynamic properties distribution in DNA molecules inside the melting interval.
The variances of the distributions of DNA molecules over the degree of helicity and over the number of unwound regions inside the melting interval are calculated. The variance over the degree of helicity is expessed in terms of the values directly available from the experimental data. For the variance over the number of unwound regions a simple interpolation formula based on the machine calculations is proposed. Possible applications of the results obtained to interpolaation of the electron microscopic denaturation maps of DNA are discussed. (+info