A model for the solution structure of a branched, three-strand dna complex

Neocles B. Leontis, Michael T. Hills, Martial Piotto, Arun Malhotra, Jean Nussbaum, David G. Orenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The solution structure of a DNA three-way junction (TWJ) containing two unpaired thymidines was elucidated using two-and three-dimensional !H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. TWJs with unpaired nucleotides are ubiquitous structural motifs of complex single-stranded nucleic acids. In the presence of Mg2+. the TWJ complex adopts a unique conformation in which the bases of one of the oligonucleotides (“strand 1”) are continuously stacked across the junction. Guanosine 8 of strand 3(S3-G8), which pairs with S1-C5. stacks on S2-G5, which is paired to S1-C6. The unpaired thymidine bases (S3-T6 and S3-T7) are exposed to the solvent, whereas the sugar of S3-G8 is largely buried. S3-T6 also interacts with the sugar residue of S3-G11. All three stems conform to B-type DNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-223
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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