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Biological NMR Spectroscopy$
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John L. Markley and Stanley J. Opella

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195094688

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195094688.001.0001

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Determination by 1 H NMR of a Slow Conformational Transition and Hydration Change in the Consensus TATAAT Pribnow Box

Determination by 1 H NMR of a Slow Conformational Transition and Hydration Change in the Consensus TATAAT Pribnow Box

(p.277) 20 Determination by 1 H NMR of a Slow Conformational Transition and Hydration Change in the Consensus TATAAT Pribnow Box
Biological NMR Spectroscopy

C. Milhe

Oxford University Press

The conformational dynamics and hydration of a DNA 14-mer containing the consensus Pribnow box sequence TATAAT have been measured using rotating frame T1 measurements and NOESY and ROESY in water. The H2 proton resonances of adenines show fast intermediate exchange behavior which can be attributed to a conformational transition that affects the distances between H2 protons of neighboring adenine residues, both sequential and cross-strand. The relaxation rate constant of the transition was measured at 4000s-1 at 25°C. Bound water close to the H2 proton of adenines was observed with residence times of >lns. At low temperature (5°C), the Pribnow box is in a closed state in which hydration water in the minor groove is tightly bound. At higher temperatures, the conformation opens up as judged by the increase in separation between sequential H2 protons of adenines and water exchanges freely from the minor groove. The conformational transition and the altered hydration pattern may be related to promoter function. The control of gene expression in procaryotes depends on the specific recognition by RNA polymerase of a six base-pair sequence (consensus: TTGACA) located at -35 from the transcription site, and a second one, named the Pribnow box (consensus: TATAAT) at about 10 base-pairs upstream the initiation site (Rosenberg and Court, 1979). It has been shown (Hawley and McClure, 1983) that strong promoters exhibit a high degree of homology with the consensus sequences, separated by an optimum consensus spacer length of 17 base pairs. The strength of a promoter depends on, among other thing, the rate of the initiation of transcription. This rate depends on the product between the thermodynamic and kinetic constants KB and k2 (McClure, 1980). The initial binding of RNA polymerase to the promoter results in the formation of a transcriptionally inactive ‘closed’ complex, characterized by the association constant KB. Isomerization to the active ‘open’ complex then occurs, and is characterized by the first order rate constant k2. Hence, the frequency of transcription initiation depends both on the strength of the polymerase-promoter interaction, and the ease with which this complex can isomerize to the productive state. Both of these events are likely to depend on the physical properties of the promoter.

Keywords:   DNA, RNA polymerase, ROESY, melting temperature, pribnow box, relaxation matrix

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