Thermodynamic and structural properties of the specific binding between Ag(+) ion and C:C mismatched base pair in duplex DNA to form C-Ag-C metal-mediated base pair.
ABSTRACT Metal ion-nucleic acid interactions have attracted considerable interest for their involvement in structure formation and catalytic activity of nucleic acids. Although interactions between metal ion and mismatched base pair duplex are important to understand mechanism of gene mutations related to heavy metal ions, they have not been well-characterized. We recently found that the Ag(+) ion stabilized a C:C mismatched base pair duplex DNA. A C-Ag-C metal-mediated base pair was supposed to be formed by the binding between the Ag(+) ion and the C:C mismatched base pair to stabilize the duplex. Here, we examined specificity, thermodynamics and structure of possible C-Ag-C metal-mediated base pair. UV melting indicated that only the duplex with the C:C mismatched base pair, and not of the duplexes with the perfectly matched and other mismatched base pairs, was specifically stabilized on adding the Ag(+) ion. Isothermal titration calorimetry demonstrated that the Ag(+) ion specifically bound with the C:C base pair at 1:1 molar ratio with a binding constant of 10(6) M(-1), which was significantly larger than those for nonspecific metal ion-DNA interactions. Electrospray ionization mass spectrometry also supported the specific 1:1 binding between the Ag(+) ion and the C:C base pair. Circular dichroism spectroscopy and NMR revealed that the Ag(+) ion may bind with the N3 positions of the C:C base pair without distorting the higher-order structure of the duplex. We conclude that the specific formation of C-Ag-C base pair with large binding affinity would provide a binding mode of metal ion-DNA interactions, similar to that of the previously reported T-Hg-T base pair. The C-Ag-C base pair may be useful not only for understanding of molecular mechanism of gene mutations related to heavy metal ions but also for wide variety of potential applications of metal-mediated base pairs in various fields, such as material, life and environmental sciences.