Kinetics and thermodynamics of triplex formation between 9-mer homopyrimidine PNA (H2N-Lys-TCTCCTCCC-CONH2) and double-stranded RNA (dsRNA, 5′-AGAGGAGGG-3′/3′-UCUCCUCCC-5′) at acidic pH were studied by means of a stopped-flow technique and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). These results revealed the following main findings: (i) the stable PNA-dsRNA triplex formation mostly originated from the large association rate constant (kon), which was dominated by both the charge neutral PNA backbone and the protonation level of the PNA cytosine. (ii) The temperature dependence of the enthalpy change (ΔH) and kon suggested that the association phase of the PNA-dsRNA triplex formation comprised a non-directional nucleation-zipping mechanism that was coupled with the conformational transition of the unbound PNA. (iii) The destabilization by a mismatch in the dsRNA sequence mainly resulted from the decreased magnitude of both kon and ΔH. (iv) There was sequence and position dependence of the mismatch on ΔH and the activation energy (Eon), which illustrated the importance of base pairing in the middle of the sequence. Our results for the first time revealed an association mechanism for the PNA-dsRNA triplex formation. A set of the kinetic and thermodynamic data we reported here will also expand the scope of understanding for nucleic acid recognition by PNA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry