Nucleic acid-metal ion interactions in the solid state

Katsuyuki Aoki, Kazutaka Murayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Metal ions play a key role in nucleic acid structure and activity. Elucidation of the rules that govern the binding of metal ions is therefore an essential step for better understanding of the nucleic acid functions. This review is as an update to a preceding one (Metal Ions Biol. Syst., 1996, 32, 91-134), in which we offered a general view of metal ion interactions with mono-, di-, tri-, and oligonucleotides in the solid state, based on their crystal structures reported before 1994. In this chapter, we survey all the crystal structures of metal ion complexes with nucleotides involving oligonucleotides reported after 1994 and we have tried to uncover new characteristic metal bonding patterns for mononucleotides and oligonucleotides with A-RNA and A/B/Z-DNA fragments that form duplexes. We do not cover quadruplexes, duplexes with metal-mediated base-pairs, tRNAs, rRNAs in ribosome, ribozymes, and nucleic acid-drug and -protein complexes. Factors that affect metal binding to mononucleotides and oligonucleotide duplexes are also dealt with.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-102
Number of pages60
JournalMetal Ions in Life Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • A-DNA
  • A-RNA
  • B-DNA
  • Crystal structures
  • Metal ions
  • Mononucleotides
  • Oligonucleotides
  • Z-DNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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