DNA chemistry

Bruce Roe broe at aardvark.ucs.uoknor.edu
Fri Jul 17 08:30:00 EST 1992


In article <920716095033.20200245 at ntet.nctr.fda.gov>, WMELCHIOR at NTET.NCTR.FDA.GOV (Bill Melchior, NCTR/FDA) writes...
>Several messages, both to the list and to me have suggested that I
>underestimated, yesterday, the desire for basic information by list
>members.  With that in mind, a couple of additional comments on DNA
>chemistry.
> 
>A book that explains LOTS about nucleic acids is Wolfram Saenger's 
>"Principles of Nucleic Acid Structure" (Springer-Verlag; 1984): 
>structure, stability, hydrogen bonding, pH effects, etc.
> 
>pp 62-65 give a discussion of the reasons for RNA being different.
>(RNA adopts only the A and A' conformations; it cannot go to the
>B and Z families of conformation.  In other words, the sugar pucker
>is always C3'-endo in RNA, while in B form DNA it is C2'-endo.  Free
>ribonucleosides, however, can readily adopt the C3'-endo pucker.)

The above book is a good introduction, is somewhat outdated, but a
great starting place.  I'd also suggest Cantor and Shimmel's Physical
Biochem. text, several of the IRL press monographs, and scanning the
last few years of Annual Reviews of Biochemistry for more up-to-date
information.

Also, a few years ago there was a report, as I recall it was in either
Science or Nature but (....sigh) can't remember for sure, describing
the presence of Z-RNA.  Thus do not necessarly agree with the quote
from pp 62-65 in Saenger's book.  Lest we forget, these different
forms of nucleic acid structures (A --> Z) describe double-stranded
regions and words such as ONLY and ALWAYS should be purged from our
vocabulary.  No flame intended. However, every time I use them someone
(usually one of my students) points out a recent paper giving evidence
for an exception.

Cheers..........bruce
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 \  Bruce A. Roe                     Dept. Chemistry and Biochemistry /
 /  BROE at aardvark.ucs.uoknor.edu     University of Oklahoma           \
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