Alastair I.H. Murchie

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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)
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)
Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), in which a fluorescent donor molecule transfers energy via a nonradiative dipoldipole interaction to an acceptor molecule (which is usually a fluorescent molecule), is a standard spectroscopic technique for measuring distancesin the 10-70-A range. Upon energy transfer, which depends on the R6 distance between(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)
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 four-way junction between DNA helices is the central intermediate in recombination, and the manner of its interaction with resolvase enzymes can determine the genetic outcome of the process. A knowledge of its structure is a prerequisite to understanding the interaction with proteins, and there has been recent progress. Here we use fluorescence energy(More)
Multistranded DNA structures based upon guanine association have been proposed to be important in the structure of chromosome telomeres and in immunoglobulin class switching. Nucleic acids containing runs of guanine bases form a number of structures in vitro, including fold-back structures (Fig. 1a) and parallel-stranded quadruplex structures in DNA and(More)
Helical junctions are important elements in the architecture of folded RNA molecules. The global geometry of fully base-paired four-way junctions between RNA helices has been analyzed by comparative gel electrophoresis. Junctions appear to fold by pairwise coaxial helical stacking in one of two possible stereochemically equivalent isomers based upon(More)
The majority of riboswitches are regulatory RNAs that regulate gene expression by binding small-molecule metabolites. Here we report the discovery of an aminoglycoside-binding riboswitch that is widely distributed among antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens. This riboswitch is present in the leader RNA of the resistance genes that encode the(More)
In our recent paper, we reported an aminoglycoside-sensing RNA in the leader RNA of the aminoglycoside acetyl transferase (AAC) and aminoglycoside adenyl transferase (AAD), enzymes that confer resistance to aminoglycoside antibiotics through modification of the drugs. Our study explains a well-known phenomenon: the induction of expression levels of the(More)
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