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The development of alternative architectures for genetic information-encoding systems offers the possibility of new biotechnological tools as well as basic insights into the function of the natural system. In order to examine the potential of benzo-expanded DNA (xDNA) to encode and transfer biochemical information, we carried out a study of the processing(More)
In a functioning genetic system, the information-encoding molecule must form a regular self-complementary complex (for example, the base-paired double helix of DNA) and it must be able to encode information and pass it on to new generations. Here we study a benzo-widened DNA-like molecule (yDNA) as a candidate for an alternative genetic set, and we(More)
We describe the design, synthesis, and properties of DNA-like molecules in which the base pairs are expanded by benzo homologation. The resulting size-expanded genetic helices are called xDNA ("expanded DNA") and yDNA ("wide DNA"). The large component bases are fluorescent, and they display high stacking affinity. When singly substituted into natural DNA,(More)
Here we study the viability of an unnatural genetic system with size-expanded geometry (xDNA). xDNA contains base pairs 2.4 A larger than those of natural DNA. The expanded geometry is expected to be problematic for the natural high-fidelity replication machinery required to process genetic information. However, initial studies with a variety of DNA(More)
A widened DNA base-pair architecture is studied in an effort to explore the possibility of whether new genetic system designs might possess some of the functions of natural DNA. In the "yDNA" system, pairs are homologated by addition of a benzene ring, which yields (in the present study) benzopyrimidines that are correctly paired with purines. Here we(More)
Properties and applications of two new classes of DNA base replacements are described. The first class is size-expanded DNA bases; these are benzo-homologous versions of A, C, T, G that yield base pairs 2.4 Angstroms larger than natural pairs. New studies have explored the ability of expanded DNA base pairs to be replicated by DNA polymerase enzymes. The(More)
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