Structural studies of a trinucleotide repeat sequence using 2-aminopurine
Degtyareva, N. N.; Reddish, M. J.; Sengupta, B.; Petty, J. T. Structural studies of a trinucleotide repeat sequence using 2-aminopurine. Biochemistry 2009, 48, 2340-6.
The secondary structure of repeated trinucleotide sequences results in the development of several neurodegenerative diseases, and these studies consider the (CAG)(8) sequence that forms a stem-loop hairpin. The structural and thermodynamic properties of this hairpin are assessed using 2-aminopurine substitutions for adenine at six positions in this repeated sequence. Circular dichroism spectra and thermal denaturation experiments show that the secondary structure is not disturbed by the modifications. The local structure of the hairpin was monitored using the fluorescence intensities of 2-aminopurines, the changes in the intensity relative to the denatured state, and the sensitivity of the fluorescence to quenching by acrylamide. To establish the stem and loop characteristics in (CAG)(8), known reference points for stem, loop, and exposed base motifs were used. In the vicinity of the loop, the bases become more solvent exposed, which suggests that the instability associated with this repeated hairpin influences the global secondary structure. These results provide the basis to interpret the structures adopted by other repeated (CAG) structures.