Structural and Energetic Impact of Non-Natural 7-Deaza-8-Azaadenine and its 7-Substituted Derivatives on H-Bonding Potential with Uracil in RNA Molecules

Mohit Chawla, Raffaele Credendino, Romina Oliva, Luigi Cavallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Non-natural (synthetic) nucleobases, including 7-ethynyl- and 7-triazolyl-8-aza-7-deazaadenosine, have been introduced in RNA molecules for targeted applications, and have been characterized experimentally. However, no theoretical characterization of the impact of these modifications on the structure and energetics of the corresponding H-bonded base pair is available. To fill this gap, we performed quantum mechanics calculations, starting with the analysis of the impact of the 8-aza-7-deaza modification of the adenosine skeleton, and we moved then to analyze the impact of the specific substituents on the modified 8-aza-7-deazaadenosine. Our analysis indicates that, despite of these severe structural modifications, the H-bonding properties of the modified base pair gratifyingly replicate those of the unmodified base pair. Similar behavior is predicted when the same skeleton modifications are applied to guanosine when paired to cytosine. To stress further the H-bonding pairing in the modified adenosine-uracil base pair, we explored the impact of strong electron donor and electron withdrawing substituents on the C7 position. Also in this case we found minimal impact on the base pair geometry and energy, confirming the validity of this modification strategy to functionalize RNAs without perturbing its stability and biological functionality.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12982-12989
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry B
Volume119
Issue number41
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2015

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