Molecular dynamics simulations have been used to study the differences between two DNA and RNA 14-mer quadruplexes of analogous sequences. Their structures present a completely different fold: DNA forms a bimolecular quadruplex containing antiparallel strands and diagonal loops; RNA forms an intrastrand parallel quadruplex containing a G-tetrad and an hexad, which dimerizes by hexad stacking. We used a multiscale computational approach combining classical Molecular dynamics simulations and density functional theory calculations to elucidate the difference in stability of the 2-folds and their ability in coordinating cations. The presence of 2′-OH groups in the RNA promotes the formation of a large number of intramolecular hydrogen bonds that account for the difference in fold and stability of the two 14-mers. We observe that the adenines in the RNA quadruplex play a key role in conserving the geometry of the hexad. We predict the cation coordination mode of the two quadruplexes, not yet observed experimentally, and we offer a rationale for the corresponding binding energies involved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry