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Proton magnetic resonance studies of ribonucleic acid complexes. I. Complexes of biological bases and oligonucleotides with RNA. II. Template recognition and the degeneracy of the genetic code


Kreishman, George Paul (1972) Proton magnetic resonance studies of ribonucleic acid complexes. I. Complexes of biological bases and oligonucleotides with RNA. II. Template recognition and the degeneracy of the genetic code. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/8MW5-JQ49.


Part I. Complexes of Biological Bases and Oligonucleotides with RNA

The physical nature of complexes of several biological bases and oligonucleotides with single-stranded ribonucleic acids have been studied by high resolution proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The importance of various forces in the stabilization of these complexes is also discussed.

Previous work has shown that purine forms an intercalated complex with single-stranded nucleic acids. This complex formation led to severe and stereospecific broadening of the purine resonances. From the field dependence of the linewidths, T1 measurements of the purine protons and nuclear Overhauser enhancement experiments, the mechanism for the line broadening was ascertained to be dipole-dipole interactions between the purine protons and the ribose protons of the nucleic acid.

The interactions of ethidium bromide (EB) with several RNA residues have been studied. EB forms vertically stacked aggregates with itself as well as with uridine, 3'-uridine monophosphate and 5'-uridine monophosphate and forms an intercalated complex with uridylyl (3' → 5') uridine and polyuridylic acid (poly U). The geometry of EB in the intercalated complex has also been determined.

The effect of chain length of oligo-A-nucleotides on their mode of interaction with poly U in D20 at neutral pD have also been studied. Below room temperatures, ApA and ApApA form a rigid triple-stranded complex involving a stoichiometry of one adenine to two uracil bases, presumably via specific adenine-uracil base pairing and cooperative base stacking of the adenine bases. While no evidence was obtained for the interaction of ApA with poly U above room temperature, ApApA exhibited complex formation of a 1:1 nature with poly U by forming Watson-Crick base pairs. The thermodynamics of these systems are discussed.

Part II. Template Recognition and the Degeneracy of the Genetic Code

The interaction of ApApG and poly U was studied as a model system for the codon-anticodon interaction of tRNA and mRNA in vivo. ApApG was shown to interact with poly U below ~20°C. The interaction was of a 1:1 nature which exhibited the Hoogsteen bonding scheme. The three bases of ApApG are in an anti conformation and the guanosine base appears to be in the lactim tautomeric form in the complex.

Due to the inadequacies of previous models for the degeneracy of the genetic code in explaining the observed interactions of ApApG with poly U, the "tautomeric doublet" model is proposed as a possible explanation of the degenerate interactions of tRNA with mRNA during protein synthesis in vivo.

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:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Chan, Sunney I.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:28 July 1971
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05022016-112630640
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9696
Deposited On:02 May 2016 20:44
Last Modified:09 Nov 2022 19:20

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