Published on March 15, 1997 in Nucleic Acids Res volume 25.
PubMed ID: 9092639
In order to understand the effect of 2-thiouridine (s2U) substitution on RNA structure and the potential for stabilization of tRNA codon-anticodon interactions through s2U-34 modification, a pentamer RNA sequence, Gs2UUUC, was synthesized and characterized by NMR spectroscopy. The single strand contains the UUU anticodon sequence of tRNALys with flanking GCs to increase duplex stability. Regiochemical effects of uridine thiolation were determined by comparing the structure and stability of the 2-thiouridine containing oligonucleotide with an identical sequence containing 4-thiouridine (s4U) and also the normal uridine nucleoside. Circular dichroism spectrum indicated an A-form helical conformation for Gs2UUUC which was further confirmed by 2D ROESY NMR experiments. The duplex stability of the three pentamers complexed with a 2'-O-methyl-ribonucleotide complementary strand, GmAmAmAmCm, was determined by UV thermal melting studies and by 1H NMR spectroscopy. The duplex containing s2U has a T m of 30.7 degrees C compared to 19. 0 degrees C for the unmodified control and 14.5 degrees C for the s4U containing duplex. The results from UV experiments were corroborated by imino proton NMR studies that show proton exchange rates, chemical shift differences, and NH proton linewidths indicative of the stability order s2U >U >s4U. The magnitude of the effect of s2U in our model system is comparable to the 20 degrees C stabilization observed by Grosjean and co-workers for 2-thiolation in a codon-anticodon model system composed of two tRNAs with complementary anticodon sequences [Houssier, C., Degee, P., Nicoghosian, K. and Grosjean, H. (1988) J. Biomol. Struct. Dyn., 5, 1259-1266].