Zinc destabilizes DNA Watson-Crick pairs at AGCT

Seongman Kang, Robert D. Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Zinc, a component of a large number of enzymes and an abundant and essential trace metal, alters the structure of AGCT sites in negatively supercoiled DNA. Related sequences show little or no effect. Cobalt and cadmium show reactivities similar to zinc. The conformational change in DNA was fine mapped with haloacetaldehydes using chemical cleavage or primer extension methods. Since a many fold excess of zinc to AGCT sites is required to saturate the reaction, we propose that the zinc-AGCT complex is preferentially accessible to the haloacetaldehyde probes due to a conformational deformation. Hence, zinc is the smallest ligand (by ~500- fold) that causes a perturbation of a specific DNA sequence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9528-9532
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1994 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Zinc destabilizes DNA Watson-Crick pairs at AGCT'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this