PMID: 25393319
Hall JP, Sanchez-Weatherby J, Alberti C, Quimper CH, O'Sullivan K, Brazier JA, Winter G, Sorensen T, Kelly JM, Cardin DJ, Cardin CJ
Controlled dehydration of a ruthenium complex-DNA crystal induces reversible DNA kinking.
J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Nov 13.
Hydration-dependent DNA deformation has been known since Rosalind Franklin recognised that the relative humidity of the sample had to be maintained to observe a single conformation in DNA fibre diffraction. We now report for the first time the crystal structure, at the atomic level, of a dehydrated form of a DNA duplex and demonstrate the reversible interconversion to the hydrated form at room temperature. This system, containing d(TCGGCGCCGA) in the presence of Lambda-[Ru(TAP)2(dppz)]2+ (TAP = 1,4,5,8-tetraazaphenanthrene, dppz = dipyridophenazine), undergoes a partial transition from an A/B hybrid to the A-DNA conformation, at 84-79% relative humidity. This is accompanied by an increase in kink at the central step from 22 degrees to 51 degrees , with a large movement of the terminal bases forming the intercalation site. This transition is reversible on rehydration. Seven datasets, collected from one crystal at room temperature, show the consequences of dehydration at near-atomic resolution. This result highlights that crystals, traditionally thought of as static systems, are still dynamic and therefore can be the subject of further experimentation.