Solvent organization in an oligonucleotide crystal: The structure of d(GCGAATTCG)2 at atomic resolution

Montserrat Soler-López, Lucy Malinina, Juan A. Subirana

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We describe the crystal structure of d(GCGAATTCG) determined by x-ray diffraction at atomic resolution level (0.89 Å). The duplex structure is practically identical to that described at 2.05 Å resolution (Van Meervelt, L., Vlieghe, D., Dautant, A., Gallois, B., Precigoux, G., and Kennard, O. (1995) Nature 374, 742-744), however about half of the phosphate groups show multiple conformations. The crystal has three regions with different solvent structure. One of them contains several ordered Mg+2 ions and can be considered as an ionic crystal. A second region is formed by a network of ordered water molecules with a polygonal organization that binds three duplexes. The third region is formed by channels of solvent in which very few ordered solvent molecules are visible. The less ordered phosphates are found facing this channel. The latter region provides a view of DNA with highly movable charges, both negative phosphates and counterions, without a precise location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23034-23044
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 28 2000


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