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Influence of a Hairpin Loop on the Thermodynamic Stability of a DNA Oligomer

Journal of Nucleic Acids
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  • Physics


DSC was used to evaluate the mechanism of the thermally induced unfolding of the single-stranded hairpin HP = 5′-CGGAATTCCGTCTCCGGAATTCCG-3′ and its core duplex D (5′-CGGAATTCCG-3′)2. The DSC melting experiments performed at several salt concentrations were successfully described for HP and D in terms of a three-state transition model H P ↔ I (intermediate state) ↔ S (unfolded single-stranded state) and two state transition model D ↔ 2 S , respectively. Comparison of the model-based thermodynamic parameters obtained for each HP and D transition shows that in unfolding of HP only the H P ↔ I transition is affected by the TCTC loop. This observation suggests that in the intermediate state its TCTC loop part exhibits significantly more flexible structure than in the folded state while its duplex part remains pretty much unchanged.

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