Time-resolved UV resonance Raman spectroscopy is a powerful method for monitoring structural changes in real time. The technique permits the exploration of transient intermediates on a time scale inaccessible to NMR studies and at a level of sensitivity not possible via electronic spectroscopy. To date, studies have explored protein dynamics, yet nucleic acid structural features have yet to be investigated by this method.
In this study, we report the results of time-resolved UV resonance Raman spectroscopic studies of base stacking in polyriboadenylic acid in the nanosecond to microsecond timescale. Preliminary results show that the kinetics of the associated conformational changes can be resolved; specifically, backbone conformational changes can be separated from those associated with the bases. We also explore conformational changes that occur in DNA.
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