Solution Structure of a Two-Base DNA Bulge Complexed with an Enediyne Cleaving Analog

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Science  28 Jun 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5270, pp. 1943-1946
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5270.1943


Nucleic acid bulges have been implicated in a number of biological processes and are specific cleavage targets for the enediyne antitumor antibiotic neocarzinostatin chromophore in a base-catalyzed, radical-mediated reaction. The solution structure of the complex between an analog of the bulge-specific cleaving species and an oligodeoxynucleotide containing a two-base bulge was elucidated by nuclear magnetic resonance. An unusual binding mode involves major groove recognition by the drug carbohydrate unit and tight fitting of the wedge-shaped drug in the triangular prism pocket formed by the two looped-out bulge bases and the neighboring base pairs. The two drug rings mimic helical DNA bases, complementing the bent DNA structure. The putative abstracting drug radical is 2.2 ± 0.1 angstroms from the pro-S H5′ of the target bulge nucleotide. This structure clarifies the mechanism of bulge recognition and cleavage by a drug and provides insight into the design of bulge-specific nucleic acid binding molecules.