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Recognition of double helical DNA by purine oligonucleotides via triple helix formation


Beal, Peter A. (1994) Recognition of double helical DNA by purine oligonucleotides via triple helix formation. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology.


Oligonucleotide-directed triple helix formation is one of the most versatile methods for the sequence specific recognition of double helical DNA. Chapter 2 describes affinity cleaving experiments carried out to assess the recognition potential for purine-rich oligonucleotides via the formation of triple helices. Purine-rich oligodeoxyribonucleotides were shown to bind specifically to purine tracts of double helical DNA in the major groove antiparallel to the purine strand of the duplex. Specificity was derived from the formation of reverse Hoogsteen G•GC, A•AT and T•AT triplets and binding was limited to mostly purine tracts. This triple helical structure was stabilized by multivalent cations, destabilized by high concentrations of monovalent cations and was insensitive to pH. A single mismatched base triplet was shown to destabilize a 15 mer triple helix by 1.0 kcal/mole at 25°C. In addition, stability appeared to be correlated to the number of G•GC triplets formed in the triple helix. This structure provides an additional framework as a basis for the design of new sequence specific DNA binding molecules.

In work described in Chapter 3, the triplet specificities and required strand orientations of two classes of DNA triple helices were combined to target double helical sequences containing all four base pairs by alternate strand triple helix formation. This allowed for the use of oligonucleotides containing only natural 3'-5' phosphodiester linkages to simultaneously bind both strands of double helical DNA in the major groove. The stabilities and structures of these alternate strand triple helices depended on whether the binding site sequence was 5'-(purine)_m (pyrimidine)_n-3' or 5'- (pyrimidine)_m (purine)_n-3'.

In Chapter 4, the ability of oligonucleotide-cerium(III) chelates to direct the transesterfication of RNA was investigated. Procedures were developed for the modification of DNA and RNA oligonucleotides with a hexadentate Schiff-base macrocyclic cerium(III) complex. In addition, oligoribonucleotides modified by covalent attachment of the metal complex through two different linker structures were prepared. The ability of these structures to direct transesterification to specific RNA phosphodiesters was assessed by gel electrophoresis. No reproducible cleavage of the RNA strand consistent with transesterification could be detected in any of these experiments.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Chemistry
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemistry
Thesis Availability:Restricted to Caltech community only
Research Advisor(s):
  • Dervan, Peter B.
Thesis Committee:
  • Dougherty, Dennis A.
  • Rees, Douglas C.
  • Myers, Andrew G.
Defense Date:17 December 1993
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:04252013-080541344
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7631
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:25 Apr 2013 15:43
Last Modified:25 Apr 2013 15:43

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