Comparison of the thermodynamics and base-pair dynamics of a full LNA:DNA duplex and of the isosequential DNA:DNA duplex

Gilles Bruylants, Marina Boccongelli, Karim Snoussi, Kristin Bartik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Locked nucleic acids (LNA), conformationally restricted nucleotide analogues, are known to enhance pairing stability and selectivity toward complementary strands. With the aim to contribute to a better understanding of the origin of these effects, the structure, thermal stability, hybridization thermodynamics, and base-pair dynamics of a full-LNA:DNA heteroduplex and of its isosequential DNA:DNA homoduplex were monitored and compared. CD measurements highlight differences in the duplex structures: the homoduplex and heteroduplex present B-type and A-type helical conformations, respectively. The pairing of the hybrid duplex is characterized, at all temperatures monitored (between 15 and 37°C), by a larger stability constant but a less favorable enthalpic term. A major contribution to this thermodynamic profile emanates from the presence of a hairpin structure in the LNA single strand which contributes favorably to the entropy of interaction but leads to an enthalpy penalty upon duplex formation. The base-pair opening dynamics of both systems was monitored by NMR spectroscopy via imino protons exchange measurements. The measurements highlight that hybrid G-C base-pairs present a longer base-pair lifetime and higher stability than natural G-C base-pairs, but that an LNA substitution in an A-T base-pair does not have a favorable effect on the stability. The thermodynamic and dynamic data confirm a more favorable stacking of the bases in the hybrid duplex. This study emphasizes the complementarities between dynamic and thermodynamical studies for the elucidation of the relevant factors in binding events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8473-8482
Number of pages10
Issue number35
StatePublished - Sep 8 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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