The DNA duplexes shown below, with D indicating deoxyribose aldehyde abasic sites and numbering from 5′ to 3′, have been investigated by NMR. The 31P and 31P-1H correlation data indicate [formula omitted] that the backbones of these duplex DNAs are regular. One- and two-dimensional 1H NMR data indicate that the duplexes are right-handed and B-form. Conformational changes due to the presence of the abasic site extend to the two base pairs adjacent to the lesion site with the local conformation of the DNA being dependent on whether the abasic site is in the α or β configuration. The aromatic base of residue A17 in the position opposite the abasic site is predominantly stacked in the helix as is G17 in the analogous sample. Imino lifetimes of the AT base pairs are much longer in samples with an abasic site than in those containing a Watson-Crick base pair. The conformational and dynamical properties of the duplex DNAs containing the naturally occurring aldehyde abasic site are different from those of duplex DNAs containing a variety of analogues of the abasic site.
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