Structure and dynamics of the antitumor drugs nogalamycin and disnogalamycin complexed to d(CGTACG)2: comparison of crystal and solution structures

Howard Robinson, Danzhou Yang, Andrew H.J. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) solution structures of the 2:1 complexes of nogalamycin-d(CGTACG)2 (Ng-CGTACG) and disnogalamycin-d(CGTACG)2 (DNg-CGTACG) have been determined by a quantitative treatment of two-dimensional nuclear Overhauser effect (2D-NOE) crosspeak intensities. The 1.3 Å resolution crystal structure of the 2:1 complex of Ng-CGTACG was used as a starting model for refinement using the procedure, SPEDREF [Robinson and Wang, Biochemistry 31 (1992) 3524-3533], which incorporates full matrix relaxation theory and simulated annealing minimization. The refined solution structures have R-factors of 16.1 and 19.6% between the observed and simulated NOEs for Ng-CGTACG and DNg-CGTACG, respectively. The refined NMR structures retain major features of the crystal structure in which the elongated aglycone chromophore is intercalated between the CpG steps with its nogalose and aminoglucose lying in the minor and major grooves, respectively. The root mean square deviation between the solution and crystal structure for the complexes is 1.01 Å (Ng-CGTACG) and 1.20 Å (DNg-CGTACG) for the drug, plus the three base pairs surrounding the drug, indicating a very similar local structure at the intercalation site. In the NMR structure, the two G:C Watson-Crick base pairs (C1:G12 and G2:C11) that wrap around the aglycone have large buckles, as do those seen in the crystal structure. There is a 22° bend at the T3-A4 step in the refined solution structure. This rearrangement of the solution conformation is likely due to the absence of crystal packing. Specific hydrogen bonds between the drug and G:C bases in both grooves of the helix are preserved in the solution structure. A separate study of the 2:1 complex at low pH showed that the terminal G-C base pairing is destabilized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-188
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 4 1994


  • DNA conformation
  • X-ray diffraction
  • nuclear magnetic resonance
  • sequence specificity
  • structural refinement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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