Improved Model for Predicting the Free Energy Contribution of Dinucleotide Bulges to RNA Duplex Stability.
ABSTRACT: Predicting the secondary structure of RNA is an intermediate in predicting RNA three-dimensional structure. Commonly, determining RNA secondary structure from sequence uses free energy minimization and nearest neighbor parameters. Current algorithms utilize a sequence-independent model to predict free energy contributions of dinucleotide bulges. To determine if a sequence-dependent model would be more accurate, short RNA duplexes containing dinucleotide bulges with different sequences and nearest neighbor combinations were optically melted to derive thermodynamic parameters. These data suggested energy contributions of dinucleotide bulges were sequence-dependent, and a sequence-dependent model was derived. This model assigns free energy penalties based on the identity of nucleotides in the bulge (3.06 kcal/mol for two purines, 2.93 kcal/mol for two pyrimidines, 2.71 kcal/mol for 5'-purine-pyrimidine-3', and 2.41 kcal/mol for 5'-pyrimidine-purine-3'). The predictive model also includes a 0.45 kcal/mol penalty for an A-U pair adjacent to the bulge and a -0.28 kcal/mol bonus for a G-U pair adjacent to the bulge. The new sequence-dependent model results in predicted values within, on average, 0.17 kcal/mol of experimental values, a significant improvement over the sequence-independent model. This model and new experimental values can be incorporated into algorithms that predict RNA stability and secondary structure from sequence.
Project description:Trinucleotide bulges in RNA commonly occur in nature. Yet, little data exists concerning the thermodynamic parameters of this motif. Algorithms that predict RNA secondary structure from sequence currently attribute a constant free energy value of 3.2 kcal/mol to all trinucleotide bulges, regardless of bulge sequence. To test the accuracy of this model, RNA duplexes that contain frequent naturally occurring trinucleotide bulges were optically melted, and their thermodynamic parameters-enthalpy, entropy, free energy, and melting temperature-were determined. The thermodynamic data were used to derive a new model to predict the free energy contribution of trinucleotide bulges to RNA duplex stability: ΔG°37, trint bulge = ΔG°37, bulge + ΔG°37, AU + ΔG°37, GU. The parameter ΔG°37, bulge is variable depending upon the purine and pyrimidine composition of the bulge, ΔG°37, AU is a 0.49 kcal/mol penalty for an A-U closing pair, and ΔG° 37, GU is a -0.56 kcal/mol bonus for a G-U closing pair. With both closing pair and bulge sequence taken into account, this new model predicts free energy values within 0.30 kcal/mol of the experimental value. The new model can be used by algorithms that predict RNA free energies as well as algorithms that use free energy minimization to predict RNA secondary structure from sequence.
Project description:Fifty-nine RNA duplexes containing single-nucleotide bulge loops were optically melted in 1 M NaCl, and the thermodynamic parameters DeltaH degrees, DeltaS degrees, DeltaG 37 degrees, and TM for each sequence were determined. Sequences from this study were combined with sequences from previous studies [Longfellow, C. E., et al. (1990) Biochemistry 29, 278-285; Znosko, B. M., et al. (2002) Biochemistry 41, 10406-10417], thus examining all possible group I single-nucleotide bulge loop and nearest-neighbor sequence combinations. The free energy increments at 37 degrees C for the introduction of a group I single-nucleotide bulge loop range between 1.3 and 5.2 kcal/mol. The combined data were used to develop a model for predicting the free energy of a RNA duplex containing a single-nucleotide bulge. For bulge loops with adjacent Watson-Crick base pairs, neither the identity of the bulge nor the nearest-neighbor base pairs had an effect on the influence of the bulge loop on duplex stability. The proposed model for prediction of the stability of a duplex containing a bulged nucleotide was primarily affected by non-nearest-neighbor interactions. The destabilization of the duplex by the bulge was related to the stability of the stems adjacent to the bulge. Specifically, there was a direct correlation between the destabilization of the duplex and the stability of the less stable duplex stem. The stability of a duplex containing a bulged nucleotide adjacent to a wobble base pair also was primarily affected by non-nearest-neighbor interactions. Again, there was a direct correlation between the destabilization of the duplex and the stability of the less stable duplex stem. However, when one or both of the bulge nearest neighbors was a wobble base pair, the free energy increment for insertion of a bulge loop is dependent upon the position and orientation of the wobble base pair relative the bulged nucleotide. Bulge sequences of the type ((5'UBX)(3'GY)), ((5'GBG)(3'UU)) and ((5'UBU)(3'GG)) are less destabilizing by 0.6 kcal/mol, and bulge sequences of the type ((5'GBX)(3'UY)) and ((5'XBU)(3'YG)) are more destabilizing by 0.4 kcal/mol than bulge loops adjacent to Watson-Crick base pairs.
Project description:Helical elements separated by bulges frequently undergo transitions between unstacked and coaxially stacked conformations during the folding and function of noncoding RNAs. Here, we examine the dynamic properties of poly-pyrimidine bulges of varying length (n = 1-4, 7) across a range of Mg2+ concentrations using HIV-1 TAR RNA as a model system and solution NMR spectroscopy. In the absence of Mg2+, helices linked by bulges with n ? 3 residues adopt predominantly unstacked conformations (stacked population <15%), whereas one-bulge and two-bulge motifs adopt predominantly stacked conformations (stacked population >74%). In the presence of 3 mM Mg2+, the helices predominantly coaxially stack (stacked population >84%), regardless of bulge length, and the midpoint for the Mg2+-dependent stacking transition is within threefold regardless of bulge length. In the absence of Mg2+, the difference between free energy of interhelical coaxial stacking across the bulge variants is estimated to be ?2.9 kcal/mol, based on an NMR chemical shift mapping with stacking being more energetically disfavored for the longer bulges. This difference decreases to ?0.4 kcal/mol in the presence of Mg2+ NMR RDCs and resonance intensity data show increased dynamics in the stacked state with increasing bulge length in the presence of Mg2+ We propose that Mg2+ helps to neutralize the growing electrostatic repulsion in the stacked state with increasing bulge length thereby increasing the number of coaxial conformations that are sampled. Energetically compensated interhelical stacking dynamics may help to maximize the conformational adaptability of RNA and allow a wide range of conformations to be optimally stabilized by proteins and ligands.
Project description:Extra unmatched nucleotides (single base bulges) are common structural motifs in folded RNA molecules and can participate in RNA-ligand binding and RNA tertiary structure formation. Often these processes are associated with conformational transitions in the bulge region such as flipping out of the bulge base from an intrahelical stacked toward a looped out state. Knowledge of the flexibility of bulge structures and energetics of conformational transitions is an important prerequisite to better understand the function of this RNA motif. Molecular dynamics simulations were performed on single uridine and adenosine bulge nucleotides at the center of eight basepair RNA molecules and indicated larger flexibility of the bulge bases compared to basepaired regions. The umbrella sampling method was applied to study the bulge base looping out process and accompanying conformational and free energy changes. Looping out toward the major groove resulted in partial disruption of adjacent basepairs and was found to be less favorable compared to looping out toward the minor groove. For both uridine and adenosine bulges, a positive free energy change for full looping out was obtained which was approximately 1.5 kcal mol-1 higher in the case of the adenosine compared to the uridine bulge system. The simulations also indicated stable partially looped out states with the bulge bases located in the RNA minor groove and forming base triples with 5'-neighboring basepairs. In the case of the uridine bulge this state was more stable than the intrahelical stacked bulge structure. Induced looping out toward the minor groove involved crossing of an energy barrier of approximately 3.5 kcal mol-1 before reaching the base triple state. A continuum solvent analysis of intermediate bulge states indicated that electrostatic interactions stabilize looped out and base triple states, whereas van der Waals interactions and nonpolar contributions favor the stacked bulge conformation.
Project description:Bulge loops are common features of RNA structures that are involved in the formation of RNA tertiary structures and are often sites for interactions with proteins and ions. Minimal thermodynamic data currently exist on the bulge size and sequence effects. Using thermal denaturation methods, thermodynamic properties of 1- to 5-nt adenine and guanine bulge loop constructs were examined in 10 mM MgCl(2) or 1 M KCl. The [Formula: see text] loop parameters for 1- to 5-nt purine bulge loops in RNA constructs were between 3.07 and 5.31 kcal/mol in 1 M KCl buffer. In 10 mM magnesium ions, the ??G° values relative to 1 M KCl were 0.47-2.06 kcal/mol more favorable for the RNA bulge loops. The [Formula: see text] loop parameters for 1- to 5-nt purine bulge loops in DNA constructs were between 4.54 and 5.89 kcal/mol. Only 4- and 5-nt guanine constructs showed significant change in stability for the DNA constructs in magnesium ions. A linear correlation is seen between the size of the bulge loop and its stability. New prediction models are proposed for 1- to 5-nt purine bulge loops in RNA and DNA in 1 M KCl. We show that a significant stabilization is seen for small bulge loops in RNA in the presence of magnesium ions. A prediction model is also proposed for 1- to 5-nt purine bulge loop RNA constructs in 10 mM magnesium chloride.
Project description:Fifty-three RNA duplexes containing two single nucleotide bulge loops were optically melted in 1 M NaCl in order to determine the thermodynamic parameters ?H°, ?S°, ?G°37, and TM for each duplex. Because of the large number of possible combinations and lack of sequence effects observed previously, we limited our initial investigation to adenosine bulges, the most common naturally occurring bulge. For example, the following duplexes were investigated: 5'GGCAXYAGGC/3'CCG YX CCG, 5'GGCAXY GCC/3'CCG YXACGG, and 5'GGC XYAGCC/3'CCGAYX CGG. The identity of XY (where XY are Watson-Crick base pairs) and the total number of base pairs in the terminal and central stems were varied. As observed for duplexes with a single bulge loop, the effect of the two bulge loops on duplex stability is primarily influenced by non-nearest neighbor interactions. In particular, the stability of the stems influences the destabilization of the duplex by the inserted bulge loops. The model proposed to predict the influence of multiple bulge loops on duplex stability suggests that the destabilization of each bulge is related to the stability of the adjacent stems. A database of RNA secondary structures was examined to determine the naturally occurring abundance of duplexes containing multiple bulge loops. Of the 2000 examples found in the database, over 65% of the two bulge loops occur within 3 base pairs of each other. A database of RNA three-dimensional structures was examined to determine the structure of duplexes containing two single nucleotide bulge loops. The structures of the bulge loops are described.
Project description:It is essential to study RNA under molecular crowding conditions to better predict secondary structures of RNAs in vivo. No systematic study has been completed to determine the effects of molecular crowding on RNA duplexes of varying lengths and sequence composition. Here, optical melting, circular dichroism, and osmometry data were collected for RNA duplexes in a 20% polyethylene glycol (with an average molecular weight of 200 g/mol) solution (PEG 200), and nearest neighbor parameters were derived using this data. RNA duplexes are destabilized, on average, 1.02 kcal/mol in the presence of 20% PEG 200. The ΔG°37 values predicted by the nearest neighbor parameters for RNA duplexes in 20% PEG 200 were ∼0.65 kcal/mol closer to experimental ΔG°37 values than those predicted by the standard nearest neighbor model. For one DNA sequence in solution with small crowders, the ΔG°37 values predicted by the 20% PEG 200 RNA nearest neighbor parameters were closer to the experimental values than ΔG°37 values predicted by either the RNA or DNA standard nearest neighbor models. This indicates that the nearest neighbor parameters for RNA duplexes in 20% PEG 200 may be generalizable to RNA and DNA duplexes in solutions with small crowding agents.
Project description:The NMR structure analysis is described for two DNA molecules of identical stem sequences with a five base loop containing a pyrimidine, thymin or uracil, in between purines. These five unpaired nucleotides are bulged out and are known to induce a kink in the duplex structure. The dAATAA bulge DNA is kinked between the third and the fourth nucleotide. This contrasts with the previously studied dAAAAA bulge DNA where we found a kink between the fourth and fifth nucleotide. The total kinking angle is approximately 104 degrees for the dAATAA bulge. The findings were supported by electrophoretic data and fluorescence resonance energy transfer measurements of a similar DNA molecule end-labeled by suitable fluorescent dyes. For the dAAUAA bulge the NMR data result in a similar structure as reported for the dAATAA bulge with a kinking angle of approximately 87 degrees. The results are discussed in comparison with a rAAUAA RNA bulge found in a group I intron. Generally, the sequence-dependent structure of bulges is important to understand the role of DNA bulges in protein recognition.
Project description:Cleavage of phosphodiester bonds by small ribonuclease mimics within different bulge-loops of RNA was investigated. Bulge-loops of different size (1-7 nt) and sequence composition were formed in a 3' terminal fragment of influenza virus M2 RNA (96 nt) by hybridization of complementary oligodeoxynucleotides. Small bulges (up to 4 nt) were readily formed upon oligonucleotide hybridization, whereas hybridization of the RNA to the oligonucleotides designed to produce larger bulges resulted in formation of several alternative structures. A synthetic ribonuclease mimic displaying Pyr-Pu cleavage specificity cleaved CpA motifs located within bulges faster than similar motifs within the rest of the RNA. In the presence of 10 mM MgCl2, 75% of the cleavage products resulted from the attack of this motif. Thus, selective RNA cleavage at a single target phosphodiester bond was achieved by using bulge forming oligonucleotides and a small ribonuclease A mimic.
Project description:The human interferon-induced protein kinase, PKR, is an antiviral agent that is activated by long stretches of double-stranded (ds)RNA. PKR has an N-terminal dsRNA-binding domain that contains two tandem copies of the dsRNA-binding motif and interacts with dsRNA in a nonsequence-specific fashion. Surprisingly, PKR can be regulated by certain viral and cellular RNAs containing non-Watson-Crick features. We found that RNAs containing bulges in the middle of a helix can bind to p20, a C-terminal truncated PKR containing the dsRNA-binding domain. Bulges are known to change the global geometry of RNA by bending the helical axis; therefore, we investigated the conformational changes of bulged RNA caused by PKR binding. A 66-mer DNA-RNA(+/- A(3) bulge)-DNA chimera was constructed and annealed to a complementary RNA strand. This duplex forces the protein to bind in the middle. A 66-mer duplex with a top strand composed of DNA-DNA(+/-A(3) bulge)-RNA was used as a control. Gel mobility-shift changes among the RNA-protein complexes are consistent with straightening of bulged RNA on protein binding. In addition, a van't Hoff analysis of p20 binding to bulged RNA reveals a favorable DeltaDeltaH degrees and an unfavorable DeltaDeltaS degrees relative to binding to straight dsRNA. These thermodynamic parameters are in good agreement with predictions from a nearest-neighbor analysis for RNA straightening and support a model in which the helical junction flanking the bulge stacks on protein binding. The ability of dsRNA-binding motif proteins to recognize and straighten bent RNA has implications for modulating the topology of RNAs in vivo.