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Observation of H-Bond Mediated 3hJH2H3 Coupling Constants Across Watson-Crick AU Base Pairs in RNA



B. Luy, U Richter, E S. DeJong, O W. Sorensen, John Marino


3hJH2H3 trans-hydrogen bond scalar couplings have been observed for the first time in Watson-Crick AU base pairs in uniformly 15N-labeled RNA oligonucleotides using a new 2hJNN-HNN-E.COSY experiment. The experiment, utilizes adenosine H2 (AH2) for original polarization and detection, while employing 2hJNN couplings for coherence transfer across the hydrogen bonds (H-bonds). The H3 protons of uracil bases are unperturbed throughout the experiment so that these protons appear as passive spins in E.COSY patterns. 3hJH2H3 coupling constants can therefore be accurately measured in the acquisition dimension from the displacement of the E.COSY multiplet components, which are separated by the relatively large 1JH3N3 coupling constants in the indirect dimension of the two-dimensional experiment. The 3hJH2H3 scalar coupling constants determined for AU base pairs in the two RNA hairpins examined here have been found to be positive and range in magnitude up to 1.8 Hz. Using a molecular fragment representation of an AU base pair, density functional theory/finite field perturbation theory (DFT/FPT) methods have been applied to attempt to predict the relative contributions of H-bond length and angular geometry to the magnitude of 3hJH2H3 coupling constants. Although the DFT/FPT simulations did not reproduce the full range of magnitude observed experimentally for the 3hJH2H3 couplings, the calculations do predict the correct sign and general trends in variation in size of these couplings. The simulations suggest that the magnitude of the coupling constants depends largely on H-bond length, but can also vary with differences in pair geometry. The dependency of the 3hJH2H3 coupling constant on H-bond strength and geometry makes it a new probe for defining pairs in NMR studies of nucleic acids.
Journal of Biomolecular Nmr
No. 2


<sup>3h</sup>J<sub>HH</sub> Coupling Constant, E. COSY, hydrogen bond, RNA


Luy, B. , Richter, U. , DeJong, E. , Sorensen, O. and Marino, J. (2002), Observation of H-Bond Mediated <sup>3h</sup>J<sub>H2H3</sub> Coupling Constants Across Watson-Crick AU Base Pairs in RNA, Journal of Biomolecular Nmr (Accessed June 13, 2024)


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Created September 30, 2002, Updated October 12, 2021