MOLECULAR DYNAMICS SIMULATIONS OF THE OLIGONUCLEOTIDE WITH THE MODIFIED PHOSPHATE/PHOSPHONATE INTERNUCLEOTIDE LINKAGE*)

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Abstract

Impact of the internucleotide linkage modification by inserting a methylene group to the P-O bond (-O-PO−2-O- chain changed for -O-PO−2-CH2-O-), on the modified oligonucleotide binding ability to the natural DNA strand was studied by molecular dynamics simulation. Complex of (dT)11 with a deoxyadenosine undecamer containing alternating modified and natural internucleotide linkage was studied as a model system. The Amber force field was completed by a set of new parameters needed to model the modified part of the nucleotide. The simulations confirmed existence of a double-helical complex the melting point of which is considerably higher than 300 K. While the thymidine (unmodified) strand possesses a B-type secondary structure, the conformation of the adenosine (modified) strand is not stable at 300 K. The -ggt conformation of the modified linkages is highly preferred, temporary jumps to the -g-gt and ggt conformations were, however, observed.

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