Analysis of Conformational Features of Watson-Crick Duplex Fragments by Molecular Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics Methods

V. I. Poltev, V. M. Anisimov, C. Sanchez, A. Deriabina, E. Gonzalez, D. Garcia, F. Rivas, N. A. Polteva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It is generally accepted that the important characteristic features of the Watson-Crick duplex originate from the molecular structure of its subunits. However, it still remains to elucidate what properties of each subunit are responsible for the significant characteristic features of the DNA structure. The computations of desoxydinucleoside monophosphates complexes with Na-ions using density functional theory revealed a pivotal role of DNA conformational properties of single-chain minimal fragments in the development of unique features of the Watson-Crick duplex. We found that directionality of the sugar-phosphate backbone and the preferable ranges of its torsion angles, combined with the difference between purines and pyrimidines. in ring bases, define the dependence of three-dimensional structure of the Watson-Crick duplex on nucleotide base sequence. In this work, we extended these density functional theory computations to the minimal' fragments of DNA duplex, complementary desoxydinucleoside monophosphates complexes with Na-ions. Using several computational methods and various functionals, we performed a search for energy minima of BI-conformation for complementary desoxydinucleoside monophosphates complexes with different nucleoside sequences. Two sequences are optimized using ab initio method at the MP2/6-31++G** level of theory. The analysis of torsion angles, sugar ring puckering and mutual base positions of optimized structures demonstrates that the conformational characteristic features of complementary desoxydinucleoside monophosphates complexes with Na-ions remain within BI ranges and become closer to the corresponding characteristic features of the Watson-Crick duplex crystals. Qualitatively, the main characteristic features of each studied complementary desoxydinucleoside monophosphates complex remain invariant when different computational methods are used, although the quantitative values of some conformational parameters could vary lying within the limits typical for the corresponding family. We observe that popular functionals in density functional theory calculations lead to the overestimated distances between base pairs, while MP2 computations and the newer complex functionals produce the structures that have too close atom-atom contacts. A detailed study of some complementary desoxydinucleoside monophosphate complexes with Na-ions highlights the existence of several energy minima corresponding to BI-conformations, in other words, the complexity of the relief pattern of the potential energy surface of complementary desoxydinucleoside monophosphate complexes. This accounts for variability of conformational parameters of duplex fragments with the same base sequence. Popular molecular mechanics force fields AMBER and CHARMM reproduce most of the conformational characteristics of desoxydinucleoside monophosphates and their complementary complexes with Na-ions but fail to reproduce some details of the dependence of the Watson-Crick duplex conformation on the nucleotide sequence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-269
Number of pages11
JournalBiofizika
Volume61
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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    Poltev, V. I., Anisimov, V. M., Sanchez, C., Deriabina, A., Gonzalez, E., Garcia, D., Rivas, F., & Polteva, N. A. (2016). Analysis of Conformational Features of Watson-Crick Duplex Fragments by Molecular Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics Methods. Biofizika, 61(2), 259-269.