High-resolution crystal structure of the intramolecular d(TpA) thymine-adenine photoadduct and its mechanistic implications.

Jerry Davies, John Malone, C.J. Cardin, S. Neidle, Y. Gan, M.P.H. Lee

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20 Citations (Scopus)


A high-resolution crystal structure is reported for d(TpA)*, the intramolecular thymine–adenine photoadduct that is produced by direct ultraviolet excitation of the dinucleoside monophosphate d(TpA). It confirms the presence of a central 1,3-diazacyclooctatriene ring linking the remnants of the T and A bases, as previously deduced from heteronuclear NMR measurements by Zhao et al. (The structure of d(TpA)*, the major photoproduct of thymidylyl-(3'-5')-deoxyadenosine. Nucleic Acids Res., 1996, 24, 1554–1560). Within the crystal, the d(TpA)* molecules exist as zwitterions with a protonated amidine fragment of the eight-membered ring neutralizing the charge of the internucleotide phosphate monoanion. The absolute configuration at the original thymine C5 and C6 atoms is determined as 5S,6R. This is consistent with d(TpA)* arising by valence isomerization of a precursor cyclobutane photoproduct with cis–syn stereochemistry that is generated by [2 + 2] photoaddition of the thymine 5,6-double bond across the C6 and C5 positions of adenine. This mode of photoaddition should be favoured by the stacked conformation of adjacent T and A bases in B-form DNA. It is probable that the primary photoreaction is mechanistically analogous to pyrimidine dimerization despite having a much lower quantum yield.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1048-1053
Number of pages6
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Volume35 (4)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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