Chemistry - a European Journal vol:13 issue:1 pages:90-98
High-resolution NMR studies of an alpha-homo-DNA:RNA duplex reveal the formation of a right-handed parallel-oriented helix. It differs significantly from a standard A- or B-type helix by a small twist value (26.2 degrees ), which leads to a helical pitch of 13.7 base pairs per helical turn, a negative inclination (-1.78 A) and a large x displacement (5.90 A). The rise (3.4 A) is similar to that found in B-DNA. The solution of this new helix structure has stimulated us to develop a mathematical and geometrical model based on slide and twist parameters to describe nucleic acid duplexes. All existing duplexes can be positioned within this landscape, which can be used to understand the helicalization process.