Molecular structure of nicked DNA: A substrate for DNA repair enzymes

J. Aymami, M. Coll, G. A. Van Der Marel, J. H. Van Boom, A. H.J. Wang, A. Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The molecular structure of a nicked dodecamer DNA double helix, made of a ternary system containing d(CGCGAAAACGCG) + d(CGCGTT) + d(TTCGCG) oligonucleotides, has been determined by x-ray diffraction analysis at 3 Å resolution. The molecule adopts a B-DNA conformation, not unlike those found in intact dodecamer DNA molecules crystallized in a somewhat different crystal lattice, despite a gap due to the absence of a phosphate group in the molecule. The helix has a distinct narrow minor groove near the center of the molecule at the AAAA region. This suggests that the internal stabilizing forces due to base stacking and hydrogen-bonding interactions are sufficient to overcome the loss of connectivity associated with the disruption of the covalent backbone of DNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2526-2530
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA conformation
  • x-ray diffraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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