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© Yang SI, Institut Pasteur
Publication : Nucleic acids research

A directional nucleation-zipping mechanism for triple helix formation

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Nucleic acids research - 15 Dec 2002

Alberti P, Arimondo PB, Mergny JL, Garestier T, Hélène C, Sun JS

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 12490709

Nucleic Acids Res. 2002 Dec;30(24):5407-15

A detailed kinetic study of triple helix formation was performed by surface plasmon resonance. Three systems were investigated involving 15mer pyrimidine oligonucleotides as third strands. Rate constants and activation energies were validated by comparison with thermodynamic values calculated from UV-melting analysis. Replacement of a T.A base pair by a C.G pair at either the 5′ or the 3′ end of the target sequence allowed us to assess mismatch effects and to delineate the mechanism of triple helix formation. Our data show that the association rate constant is governed by the sequence of base triplets on the 5′ side of the triplex (referred to as the 5′ side of the target oligopurine strand) and provides evidence that the reaction pathway for triple helix formation in the pyrimidine motif proceeds from the 5′ end to the 3′ end of the triplex according to the nucleation-zipping model. It seems that this is a general feature for all triple helices formation, probably due to the right-handedness of the DNA double helix that provides a stronger base stacking at the 5′ than at the 3′ duplex-triplex junction. Understanding the mechanism of triple helix formation is not only of fundamental interest, but may also help in designing better triple helix-forming oligonucleotides for gene targeting and control of gene expression.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12490709