Base stacking and molecular polarizability

Effect of a methyl group in the 5-position of pyrimidines

Lawrence Sowers, Barbara Ramsay Shaw, W. David Sedwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

95 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Substitution of a methyl group in the 5-position of pyrimidines increases melting temperatures and modifies biological properties of DNA. Increased DNA stability is often attributed to hydrophobic interactions between water and the methyl group. However, we present evidence that the major effect of methyl substitution is to increase the molecular polarizability of the pyrimidine, thereby increasing the base stacking. Experimentally determined base stacking interaction constants for free bases in water are shown to correlate well with calculated molecular polarizability and DNA melting temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-794
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Volume148
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 29 1987
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Pyrimidines
Nucleic Acid Denaturation
Temperature
Melting point
Water
DNA
Substitution reactions
Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
Freezing
pyrimidine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

Base stacking and molecular polarizability : Effect of a methyl group in the 5-position of pyrimidines. / Sowers, Lawrence; Shaw, Barbara Ramsay; Sedwick, W. David.

In: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol. 148, No. 2, 29.10.1987, p. 790-794.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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