Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 9130080
J. Biomol. Struct. Dyn. 1997 Apr;14(5):579-93
Thermodynamic and structural properties of two UNCG tetraloops in very short hairpin octamers, 5′-r(GCUUCGGC)-3′ and 5′-r(GCUACGGC)-3′, have been studied by means of various physical techniques. Melting profiles of both octamers, obtained from UV absorption spectra taken as a function of temperature, are consistent with a monophasic, progressive and completely reversible order-to-disorder transition and confirm their unusual structural stability (Tm > 51 degrees C). The 1H, 13C and 31P NMR chemical shifts and coupling constants of the UACG loop nucleotides are comparable with those reported previously for UUCG loops, i.e. 2′-endo/anti conformation of the second and third nucleotide of the loop as well as the syn orientation of the ultimate guanine base and the A-type double helical conformation of the hairpin stem. Simulation of quantitative NOESY volumes shows that the UACG octamer adopts a very rigid compact structure which is well represented by an average order parameter of 0.9. Three base-pairs and four additional strong hydrogen bonds are undoubtedly responsible for such limited flexibility. Raman and infrared spectra as a function of temperature reflect the order-to-disorder transition, as well. Vibrational conformational markers in low temperature spectra of both octamers indicate the hairpin structure as the major conformer in aqueous phase. These spectra further support the structural features of most of the nucleotides involved in the tetraloops and clearly demonstrate the structural similarities of the phosphodiester backbone in both hairpins. Consequently, on the basis of all present results, one can deduce that the conformational features of the UUCG and UACG tetraloops seem to be inherent to the UNCG type tetraloops, regardless of either the nature of the tetraloop second base or the stem length.