CURVES+ web server for analyzing and visualizing the helical, backbone and groove parameters of nucleic acid structures.
ABSTRACT: Curves+, a revised version of the Curves software for analyzing the conformation of nucleic acid structures, is now available as a web server. This version, which can be freely accessed at http://gbio-pbil.ibcp.fr/cgi/Curves_plus/, allows the user to upload a nucleic acid structure file, choose the nucleotides to be analyzed and after optionally setting a number of input variables, view the numerical and graphic results online or download files containing a set of helical, backbone and groove parameters that fully describe the structure. PDB format files are also provided for offline visualization of the helical axis and groove geometry.
Project description:We describe Curves+, a new nucleic acid conformational analysis program which is applicable to a wide range of nucleic acid structures, including those with up to four strands and with either canonical or modified bases and backbones. The program is algorithmically simpler and computationally much faster than the earlier Curves approach, although it still provides both helical and backbone parameters, including a curvilinear axis and parameters relating the position of the bases to this axis. It additionally provides a full analysis of groove widths and depths. Curves+ can also be used to analyse molecular dynamics trajectories. With the help of the accompanying program Canal, it is possible to produce a variety of graphical output including parameter variations along a given structure and time series or histograms of parameter variations during dynamics.
Project description:The conformational deformability of nucleic acids can influence their function and recognition by proteins. A class of DNA binding proteins including the TATA box binding protein binds to the DNA minor groove, resulting in an opening of the minor groove and DNA bending toward the major groove. Explicit solvent molecular dynamics simulations in combination with the umbrella sampling approach have been performed to investigate the molecular mechanism of DNA minor groove deformations and the indirect energetic contribution to protein binding. As a reaction coordinate, the distance between backbone segments on opposite strands was used. The resulting deformed structures showed close agreement with experimental DNA structures in complex with minor groove-binding proteins. The calculated free energy of minor groove deformation was approximately 4-6 kcal mol(-1) in the case of a central TATATA sequence. A smaller equilibrium minor groove width and more restricted minor groove mobility was found for the central AAATTT and also a significantly ( approximately 2 times) larger free energy change for opening the minor groove. The helical parameter analysis of trajectories indicates that an easier partial unstacking of a central TA versus AT basepair step is a likely reason for the larger groove flexibility of the central TATATA case.
Project description:Sanger sequencing platforms, such as applied biosystems instruments, generate chromatogram files. Generally, for 1 region of a sequence, we use both forward and reverse primers to sequence that area, in that way, we have 2 sequences that need to be aligned and a consensus generated before mutation detection studies. This work is cumbersome and takes time, especially if the gene is large with many exons. Hence, we devised a rapid automated command system to filter, build, and align consensus sequences and also optionally extract exonic regions, translate them in all frames, and perform an amino acid alignment starting from raw sequence data within a very short time. In full capabilities of Automated Mutation Analysis Pipeline (ASAP), it is able to read "*.ab1" chromatogram files through command line interface, convert it to the FASTQ format, trim the low-quality regions, reverse-complement the reverse sequence, create a consensus sequence, extract the exonic regions using a reference exonic sequence, translate the sequence in all frames, and align the nucleic acid and amino acid sequences to reference nucleic acid and amino acid sequences, respectively. All files are created and can be used for further analysis. ASAP is available as Python 3.x executable at https://github.com/aditya-88/ASAP. The version described in this paper is 0.28.
Project description:Magnesium ions play important roles in the structure and function of nucleic acids. Whereas the tertiary folding of RNA often requires magnesium ions binding to tight places where phosphates are clustered, the molecular basis of the interactions of magnesium ions with RNA helical regions is less well understood. We have refined the crystal structures of four decamer oligonucleotides, d(ACCGGCCGGT), r(GCG)d(TATACGC), r(GC)d(GTATACGC) and r(G)d(GCGTATACGC) with bound hexahydrated magnesium ions at high resolution. The structures reveal that A-form nucleic acid has characteristic [Mg(H(2)O)(6)](2+)binding modes. One mode has the ion binding in the deep major groove of a GpN step at the O6/N7 sites of guanine bases via hydrogen bonds. Our crystallographic observations are consistent with the recent NMR observations that in solution [Co(NH(3))(6)](3+), a model ion of [Mg(H(2)O)(6)](2+), binds in an identical manner. The other mode involves the binding of the ion to phosphates, bridging across the outer mouth of the narrow major groove. These [Mg(H(2)O)(6)](2+)ions are found at the most negative electrostatic potential regions of A-form duplexes. We propose that these two binding modes are important in the global charge neutralization, and therefore stability, of A-form duplexes.
Project description:The crystal and molecular structure of 2'-O-Me(CGCGCG)(2) has been determined at 1.19 A resolution, at 100 K, using synchrotron radiation. The structure in space group P3(2)12 is a half-turn right-handed helix that includes two 2-methyl-2,4-pentanediol (MPD) molecules bound in the minor groove. The structure deviates from A-form RNA. The duplex is overwound with an average value of 9.7 bp per turn, characterised as having a C3'-endo sugar pucker, very low base pair rise and high helical twist and inclination angles. The structure includes 65 ordered water molecules. Only a single row of water molecules is observed in the minor groove due to the presence of hydrophobic 2'-O-methyl groups. As many as five magnesium ions are located in the structure. Two are in the major groove and interact with O(6) and N(7) of guanosine and N(4) of cytidine residues through their hydration spheres. This work provides the first example of molecular interactions of nucleic acids with MPD, which was used as a precipitant, cryo-solvent and resolution enhancing agent. The two MPD molecules intrude into the hydration network in the minor groove, each forming hydrogen bonds between their secondary hydroxyl group and exo-amino functions of guanosine residues. Comparison of the 2'-O-Me(CGCGCG)(2) structure in the P3(2)12 and P6(1)22 crystals delineates stability of the water network within the minor groove to dehydration by MPD and is of interest for evaluating factors governing small molecule binding to RNA. Intrusion of MPD into the minor groove of 2'-O-Me(CGCGCG)(2) is discussed with respect to RNA dehydration, a prerequisite of Z-RNA formation.
Project description:The rapid accumulation of knowledge in the field of systems and networks biology during recent years requires complex, but user-friendly and accessible web applications that allow from visualization to complex algorithmic analysis. While several web applications exist with various focuses on creation, revision, curation, storage, integration, collaboration, exploration, visualization and analysis, many of these services remain disjoint and have yet to be packaged into a cohesive environment.Here, we present BEL Commons: an integrative knowledge discovery environment for networks encoded in the Biological Expression Language (BEL). Users can upload files in BEL to be parsed, validated, compiled and stored with fine granular permissions. After, users can summarize, explore and optionally shared their networks with the scientific community. We have implemented a query builder wizard to help users find the relevant portions of increasingly large and complex networks and a visualization interface that allows them to explore their resulting networks. Finally, we have included a dedicated analytical service for performing data-driven analysis of knowledge networks to support hypothesis generation.
Project description:Alternative models have been presented to provide explanations for the sequence-dependent variation of the DNA minor groove width. In a structural model groove narrowing in A-tracts results from direct, short-range interactions among DNA bases. In an electrostatic model, the narrow minor groove of A-tracts is proposed to respond to sequence-dependent localization of water and cations. Molecular dynamics simulations on partially methylphosphonate substituted helical chains of d(TATAGGCCTATA) and d(CGCGAATTCGCG) duplexes have been carried out to help evaluate the effects of neutralizing DNA phosphate groups on the minor groove width. The results show that the time-average minor groove width of the GGCC duplex becomes significantly more narrow on neutralizing the phosphate backbone with methylphosphonates. The minor groove of the AATT sequence is normally narrow and the methylphosphonate substitutions have a smaller but measurable affect on this sequence. These results and models provide a system that can be tested by experiment and they support the hypothesis that the electrostatic environment around the minor groove affects the groove width in a sequence-dependent dynamic and time-average manner.
Project description:The structure of the DNA decamer duplex d(GGTAATTACC)(2) has been determined using NMR distance restraints and molecular dynamics simulations of 500 ps to 1 ns in aqueous solution at 300 K. Using both canonical A and canonical B starting structures [root-mean-square deviation (RMSD) 4.6 A; 1 A=10(-10) m], with and without experimental restraints, we show that all four simulations converge to a similar envelope of final conformations with B-like helical parameters (pairwise RMSD 1.27-2.03 A between time-averaged structures). While the two restrained simulations reach a stable trajectory after 300-400 ps, the unrestrained trajectories take longer to equilibrate. We have analysed the dynamic aspects of these structures (sugar pucker, helical twist, roll, propeller twist and groove width) and show that the minor groove width in the AATT core of the duplex fluctuates significantly, sampling both wide and narrow conformations. The structure does not have the highly pre-organized narrow minor groove generally regarded as essential for recognition and binding by small molecules, suggesting that ligand binding carries with it a significant component of 'induced-fit'. Our simulations show that there are significant differences in structure between the TpA step (where p=phosphate) and the ApA and ApT steps, where a large roll into the major groove at the TpA step appears to be an important factor in widening the minor groove at this position.
Project description:NMR analysis and molecular dynamics simulations of d(GGTAATTACC)(2) and its complex with a tetrahydropyrimidinium analogue of Hoechst 33258 suggest that DNA minor groove recognition in solution involves a combination of conformational selection and induced fit, rather than binding to a preorganised site. Analysis of structural fluctuations in the bound and unbound states suggests that the degree of induced fit observed is primarily a consequence of optimising van der Waals contacts with the walls of the minor groove resulting in groove narrowing through: (i) changes in base step parameters, including increased helical twist and propeller twist; (ii) changes to the sugar-phosphate backbone conformation to engulf the bound ligand; (iii) suppression of bending modes at the TpA steps. In contrast, the geometrical arrangement of hydrogen bond acceptors on the groove floor appears to be relatively insensitive to DNA conformation (helical twist and propeller twist). We suggest that effective recognition of DNA sequences (in this case an A tract structure) appears to depend to a significant extent on the sequence being flexible enough to be able to adopt the geometrically optimal conformation compatible with the various binding interactions, rather than involving 'lock and key' recognition.
Project description:Understanding the molecular basis of ligand-DNA-binding events, and its application to the rational design of novel drugs, requires knowledge of the structural features and forces that drive the corresponding recognition processes. Existing structural evidence on DNA complexation with classical minor groove-directed ligands and the corresponding studies of binding energetics have suggested that this type of binding can be described as a rigid-body association. In contrast, we show here that the binding-coupled conformational changes may be crucial for the interpretation of DNA (hairpin) association with a classical minor groove binder (netropsin). We found that, although the hairpin form is the only accessible state of ligand-free DNA, its association with the ligand may lead to its transition into a duplex conformation. It appears that formation of the fully ligated duplex from the ligand-free hairpin, occurring via two pathways, is enthalpically driven and accompanied by a significant contribution of the hydrophobic effect. Our thermodynamic and structure-based analysis, together with corresponding theoretical studies, shows that none of the predicted binding steps can be considered as a rigid-body association. In this light we anticipate our thermodynamic approach to be the basis of more sophisticated nucleic acid recognition mechanisms, which take into account the dynamic nature of both the nucleic acid and the ligand molecule.