The Influence of Sequence Context and Length on the Kinetics of DNA Duplex Formation from Complementary Hairpins Possessing (CNG) Repeats

2005-04-20T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Anthony M. Paiva Richard D. Sheardy
The formation of unusual structures during DNA replication has been invoked for gene expansion in genomes possessing triplet repeat sequences, CNG, where N = A, C, G, or T. In particular, it has been suggested that the daughter strand of the leading strand partially dissociates from the parent strand and forms a hairpin. The equilibrium between the fully duplexed parent:daugter species and the parent:hairpin species is dependent upon their relative stabilities and the rates of reannealing of the daughter strand back to the parent. These stabilities and rates are ultimately influenced by the sequence context of the DNA and its length. Previous work has demonstrated that longer strands are more stable than shorter strands and that the identity of N also influences the thermal stability [Paiva, A. M.; Sheardy, R. D. <i>Biochemistry</i><b> 2004</b>, <i>43</i>, 14218−14227]. Here, we show that the rate of duplex formation from complementary hairpins is also sequence context and length dependent. In particular, longer duplexes have higher activation energies than shorter duplexes of the same sequence context. Further, [(CCG):(GGC)] duplexes have lower activation energies than corresponding [(CAG):(GTC)] duplexes of the same length. Hence, hairpins formed from long CNG sequences are more thermodynamically stable and have slower kinetics for reannealing to their complement than shorter analogues. Gene expansion can now be explained in terms of thermodynamics and kinetics.