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Repeat tracts of guanine bases found in DNA and RNA can form tetraplex structures in the presence of a variety of monovalent cations. Evidence suggests that guanine tetraplexes assume important functions within chromosomal telomeres, immunoglobulin switch regions, and the human immunodeficiency virus genome. The structure of a parallel-stranded tetraplex(More)
The ion-induced folding transitions of the hammerhead ribozyme have been analysed by fluorescence resonance energy transfer. The hammerhead ribozyme may be regarded as a special example of a three-way RNA junction, the global structure of which has been studied by comparing the distances (as energy transfer efficiencies) between the ends of pairs of(More)
In both DNA and RNA, stretches of guanine bases can form stable four-stranded helices in the presence of sodium or potassium ions. Sequences with a propensity to form guanine tetraplexes have been found in chromosomal telomers, immunoglobulin switch regions, and recombination sites. We report the crystal structure at 0.95 A resolution of a parallel-stranded(More)
The Holliday (four-way) junction is a critical intermediate in homologous genetic recombination. We have studied the structure of a series of four-way junctions, constructed by hybridization of four 80 nucleotide synthetic oligonucleotides. These molecules migrate anomalously slowly in gel electrophoresis. Each arm of any junction could be selectively(More)
RNA molecules typically exhibit extensive secondary structure, including double-stranded duplex, hairpins, internal loops, bulged bases and pseudoknotted structures (reviewed in refs 3 and 4). This is intimately connected with biological function, including splicing reactions and ribozyme activity. The formation of RNA-DNA hybrids is important in the(More)
Metal ions fold DNA junctions into a compact conformation that confers protection of all thymine bases to modification by osmium tetroxide. In the absence of the cation the arms of the junction are fully extended in an approximately square-planar configuration. Group IIa cations are effective in achieving a folded conformation of the junction at 80-100(More)
We have mutated several residues of the first of the two HMG-boxes of mammalian HMG1. Some mutants cannot be produced in Escherichia coli, suggesting that the peptide fold is grossly disrupted. A few others can be produced efficiently and have normal DNA binding affinity and specificity; however, they are more sensitive towards heating and chaotropic agents(More)
The efficiency of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between fluorescein and rhodamine covalently attached to both 5' termini of a series of double-stranded DNA species (ranging from 8 to 20 bp) was measured. FRET efficiency varied with a dependence compatible with dye-to-dye distances (R) calculated on the basis of double-stranded B-DNA(More)
The hairpin ribozyme is a self-cleaving motif found in the negatives strand of the satellite RNA of some plant viruses. In its natural context, the ribozyme comprises four helices, two of which contain conserved formally unpaired loops, that are adjacent arms of a four-way RNA junction. We show that the arms that would carry these loops are brought close(More)
Here we investigate the global conformation of the hammerhead ribozyme. Electrophoretic studies demonstrate that the structure is folded in response to the concentration and type of ions present. Folding based on colinear alignment of arms II and III is suggested, with a variable angle subtended by the remaining helix I. In the probable active conformation,(More)