The solution structure of a modified undecamer duplex containing (-)-(7R,8S,9R,10S)-7,8- dihydroxy-9,10-epoxy-7,8,9,10-tetrahydrobenzo[a]pyrene covalently bonded through trans ring opening at C10 of the epoxide by the N6-amino group of deoxyadenosine (dA) was studied. This diol epoxide 1 diastereomer has the benzylic 7-hydroxyl group and the epoxide oxygen cis. The modified nucleotide residue has R chirality at C10 of the hydrocarbon (10R adduct). The undecamer duplex d(C1G2G3T4C5A*6C7G8A9G10G11).d(C12C13T14C15G16T17G18A19C20C21G22) has a complementary T opposite the modified dA (dA*6 is the modified dA). Exchangeable and nonexchangeable proton assignments were made using 2D TOCSY, NOESY, and water/NOESY NMR spectroscopy. The hybrid complete relaxation matrix program MORASS was used to generate NOESY distance constraints for iterative refinement using distance-restrained molecular dynamics calculations. The refined structure showed the hydrocarbon intercalated from the major groove between dA*6-T17 and dC5-dG18 base pairs. The modified dA*6 was in the normal anti configuration and showed Watson-Crick base pairing to T17 opposite. The chemical shifts of the hydrocarbon protons and the unusual shifts of sugar protons were accounted for by the intercalated orientation of the hydrocarbon.
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