Interplay of lna and 2- o -methyl rna in the structure and thermodynamics of rna hybrid systems

A molecular dynamics study using the revised amber force field and comparison with experimental results

Ilyas Yildirim, Elzbieta Kierzek, Ryszard Kierzek, George C Schatz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When used in nucleic acid duplexes, locked nucleic acid (LNA) and 2-O-methyl RNA residues enhance the duplex stabilities, and this makes it possible to create much better RNA aptamers to target specific molecules in cells. Thus, LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA residues are finding increasingly widespread use in RNA-based therapeutics. Herein, we utilize molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and UV melting experiments to investigate the structural and thermodynamic properties of 13 nucleic acid duplexes, including full DNA, RNA, LNA, and 2-O-methyl RNA duplexes as well as hybrid systems such as LNA:RNA, 2-O-methyl RNA:RNA, LNA/2-O-methyl RNA:RNA, and RNA/2-O-methyl RNA:RNA duplexes. The MD simulations are based on a version of the Amber force field revised specifically for RNA and LNA residues. Our results indicate that LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA residues have two different hybridization mechanisms when included in hybrid duplexes with RNA wherein the former underwinds while the latter overwinds the duplexes. These computational predictions are supported by X-ray structures of LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA duplexes that were recently presented by different groups, and there is also good agreement with the measured thermal stabilities of the duplexes. We find out that the "underwinding" phenomenon seen in LNA and LNA:RNA hybrid duplexes happens due to expansion of the major groove widths (Mgw) of the duplexes that is associated with decrease in the slide and twist values in base-pair steps. In contrast, 2-O-methyl RNA residues in RNA duplexes slightly overwind the duplexes while the backbone is forced to stay in C3-endo. Moreover, base-pair stacking in the LNA and LNA:RNA hybrid systems is gradually reduced with the inclusion of LNA residues in the duplexes while no such effect is seen in the 2-O-methyl RNA systems. Our results show how competition between base stacking and structural rigidity in these RNA hybrid systems influences structures and stabilities. Even though both LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA residues have C3-endo sugar puckering, structurally LNA residues have a frozen sugar backbone which provides entropic enhancement of stabilities while the 2-O-methyl RNA residues are more flexible and maintain base stacking that is almost untouched compared to RNA. Thus, enhancement of the structural stabilities of RNA duplexes by 2-O-methyl RNA modifications is smaller than for the corresponding LNA modifications. Indeed, our experimental measurements show that on average each 2-O-methyl RNA and LNA substitution in a RNA duplex enhances duplex stability by 0.2 and 1.4 kcal/mol, respectively. Our computational binding free energy predictions are qualitatively in line with these results. The only exception is for the full 2-O-methyl RNA duplex, which is overstabilized, implying that further force field revisions are needed. Collectively, the results presented in this paper explain the atomistic details of the structural and thermodynamic roles of LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA residues in RNA hybrid duplexes, shedding light on the mechanism behind targeting endogenous micro RNA (miRNA) in order to regulate mRNA activity and inhibit gene expression in the cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14177-14187
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Volume118
Issue number49
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 11 2014

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Amber
nucleic acids
Molecular Dynamics Simulation
Hybrid systems
RNA
Thermodynamics
field theory (physics)
Molecular dynamics
molecular dynamics
Nucleic acids
thermodynamics
structural stability
sugars
locked nucleic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

@article{d96ff9983fdd4be1b4efde85b751d586,
title = "Interplay of lna and 2- o -methyl rna in the structure and thermodynamics of rna hybrid systems: A molecular dynamics study using the revised amber force field and comparison with experimental results",
abstract = "When used in nucleic acid duplexes, locked nucleic acid (LNA) and 2-O-methyl RNA residues enhance the duplex stabilities, and this makes it possible to create much better RNA aptamers to target specific molecules in cells. Thus, LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA residues are finding increasingly widespread use in RNA-based therapeutics. Herein, we utilize molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and UV melting experiments to investigate the structural and thermodynamic properties of 13 nucleic acid duplexes, including full DNA, RNA, LNA, and 2-O-methyl RNA duplexes as well as hybrid systems such as LNA:RNA, 2-O-methyl RNA:RNA, LNA/2-O-methyl RNA:RNA, and RNA/2-O-methyl RNA:RNA duplexes. The MD simulations are based on a version of the Amber force field revised specifically for RNA and LNA residues. Our results indicate that LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA residues have two different hybridization mechanisms when included in hybrid duplexes with RNA wherein the former underwinds while the latter overwinds the duplexes. These computational predictions are supported by X-ray structures of LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA duplexes that were recently presented by different groups, and there is also good agreement with the measured thermal stabilities of the duplexes. We find out that the {"}underwinding{"} phenomenon seen in LNA and LNA:RNA hybrid duplexes happens due to expansion of the major groove widths (Mgw) of the duplexes that is associated with decrease in the slide and twist values in base-pair steps. In contrast, 2-O-methyl RNA residues in RNA duplexes slightly overwind the duplexes while the backbone is forced to stay in C3-endo. Moreover, base-pair stacking in the LNA and LNA:RNA hybrid systems is gradually reduced with the inclusion of LNA residues in the duplexes while no such effect is seen in the 2-O-methyl RNA systems. Our results show how competition between base stacking and structural rigidity in these RNA hybrid systems influences structures and stabilities. Even though both LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA residues have C3-endo sugar puckering, structurally LNA residues have a frozen sugar backbone which provides entropic enhancement of stabilities while the 2-O-methyl RNA residues are more flexible and maintain base stacking that is almost untouched compared to RNA. Thus, enhancement of the structural stabilities of RNA duplexes by 2-O-methyl RNA modifications is smaller than for the corresponding LNA modifications. Indeed, our experimental measurements show that on average each 2-O-methyl RNA and LNA substitution in a RNA duplex enhances duplex stability by 0.2 and 1.4 kcal/mol, respectively. Our computational binding free energy predictions are qualitatively in line with these results. The only exception is for the full 2-O-methyl RNA duplex, which is overstabilized, implying that further force field revisions are needed. Collectively, the results presented in this paper explain the atomistic details of the structural and thermodynamic roles of LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA residues in RNA hybrid duplexes, shedding light on the mechanism behind targeting endogenous micro RNA (miRNA) in order to regulate mRNA activity and inhibit gene expression in the cell.",
author = "Ilyas Yildirim and Elzbieta Kierzek and Ryszard Kierzek and Schatz, {George C}",
year = "2014",
month = "12",
day = "11",
doi = "10.1021/jp506703g",
language = "English",
volume = "118",
pages = "14177--14187",
journal = "Journal of Physical Chemistry B",
issn = "1520-6106",
publisher = "American Chemical Society",
number = "49",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Interplay of lna and 2- o -methyl rna in the structure and thermodynamics of rna hybrid systems

T2 - A molecular dynamics study using the revised amber force field and comparison with experimental results

AU - Yildirim, Ilyas

AU - Kierzek, Elzbieta

AU - Kierzek, Ryszard

AU - Schatz, George C

PY - 2014/12/11

Y1 - 2014/12/11

N2 - When used in nucleic acid duplexes, locked nucleic acid (LNA) and 2-O-methyl RNA residues enhance the duplex stabilities, and this makes it possible to create much better RNA aptamers to target specific molecules in cells. Thus, LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA residues are finding increasingly widespread use in RNA-based therapeutics. Herein, we utilize molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and UV melting experiments to investigate the structural and thermodynamic properties of 13 nucleic acid duplexes, including full DNA, RNA, LNA, and 2-O-methyl RNA duplexes as well as hybrid systems such as LNA:RNA, 2-O-methyl RNA:RNA, LNA/2-O-methyl RNA:RNA, and RNA/2-O-methyl RNA:RNA duplexes. The MD simulations are based on a version of the Amber force field revised specifically for RNA and LNA residues. Our results indicate that LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA residues have two different hybridization mechanisms when included in hybrid duplexes with RNA wherein the former underwinds while the latter overwinds the duplexes. These computational predictions are supported by X-ray structures of LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA duplexes that were recently presented by different groups, and there is also good agreement with the measured thermal stabilities of the duplexes. We find out that the "underwinding" phenomenon seen in LNA and LNA:RNA hybrid duplexes happens due to expansion of the major groove widths (Mgw) of the duplexes that is associated with decrease in the slide and twist values in base-pair steps. In contrast, 2-O-methyl RNA residues in RNA duplexes slightly overwind the duplexes while the backbone is forced to stay in C3-endo. Moreover, base-pair stacking in the LNA and LNA:RNA hybrid systems is gradually reduced with the inclusion of LNA residues in the duplexes while no such effect is seen in the 2-O-methyl RNA systems. Our results show how competition between base stacking and structural rigidity in these RNA hybrid systems influences structures and stabilities. Even though both LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA residues have C3-endo sugar puckering, structurally LNA residues have a frozen sugar backbone which provides entropic enhancement of stabilities while the 2-O-methyl RNA residues are more flexible and maintain base stacking that is almost untouched compared to RNA. Thus, enhancement of the structural stabilities of RNA duplexes by 2-O-methyl RNA modifications is smaller than for the corresponding LNA modifications. Indeed, our experimental measurements show that on average each 2-O-methyl RNA and LNA substitution in a RNA duplex enhances duplex stability by 0.2 and 1.4 kcal/mol, respectively. Our computational binding free energy predictions are qualitatively in line with these results. The only exception is for the full 2-O-methyl RNA duplex, which is overstabilized, implying that further force field revisions are needed. Collectively, the results presented in this paper explain the atomistic details of the structural and thermodynamic roles of LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA residues in RNA hybrid duplexes, shedding light on the mechanism behind targeting endogenous micro RNA (miRNA) in order to regulate mRNA activity and inhibit gene expression in the cell.

AB - When used in nucleic acid duplexes, locked nucleic acid (LNA) and 2-O-methyl RNA residues enhance the duplex stabilities, and this makes it possible to create much better RNA aptamers to target specific molecules in cells. Thus, LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA residues are finding increasingly widespread use in RNA-based therapeutics. Herein, we utilize molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and UV melting experiments to investigate the structural and thermodynamic properties of 13 nucleic acid duplexes, including full DNA, RNA, LNA, and 2-O-methyl RNA duplexes as well as hybrid systems such as LNA:RNA, 2-O-methyl RNA:RNA, LNA/2-O-methyl RNA:RNA, and RNA/2-O-methyl RNA:RNA duplexes. The MD simulations are based on a version of the Amber force field revised specifically for RNA and LNA residues. Our results indicate that LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA residues have two different hybridization mechanisms when included in hybrid duplexes with RNA wherein the former underwinds while the latter overwinds the duplexes. These computational predictions are supported by X-ray structures of LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA duplexes that were recently presented by different groups, and there is also good agreement with the measured thermal stabilities of the duplexes. We find out that the "underwinding" phenomenon seen in LNA and LNA:RNA hybrid duplexes happens due to expansion of the major groove widths (Mgw) of the duplexes that is associated with decrease in the slide and twist values in base-pair steps. In contrast, 2-O-methyl RNA residues in RNA duplexes slightly overwind the duplexes while the backbone is forced to stay in C3-endo. Moreover, base-pair stacking in the LNA and LNA:RNA hybrid systems is gradually reduced with the inclusion of LNA residues in the duplexes while no such effect is seen in the 2-O-methyl RNA systems. Our results show how competition between base stacking and structural rigidity in these RNA hybrid systems influences structures and stabilities. Even though both LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA residues have C3-endo sugar puckering, structurally LNA residues have a frozen sugar backbone which provides entropic enhancement of stabilities while the 2-O-methyl RNA residues are more flexible and maintain base stacking that is almost untouched compared to RNA. Thus, enhancement of the structural stabilities of RNA duplexes by 2-O-methyl RNA modifications is smaller than for the corresponding LNA modifications. Indeed, our experimental measurements show that on average each 2-O-methyl RNA and LNA substitution in a RNA duplex enhances duplex stability by 0.2 and 1.4 kcal/mol, respectively. Our computational binding free energy predictions are qualitatively in line with these results. The only exception is for the full 2-O-methyl RNA duplex, which is overstabilized, implying that further force field revisions are needed. Collectively, the results presented in this paper explain the atomistic details of the structural and thermodynamic roles of LNA and 2-O-methyl RNA residues in RNA hybrid duplexes, shedding light on the mechanism behind targeting endogenous micro RNA (miRNA) in order to regulate mRNA activity and inhibit gene expression in the cell.

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