Poly(2-fluoroadenylic acid) The role of basicity in the stabilization of complementary helices

Arthur D. Broom, Venkataraman Amarnath, Robert Vince, Jay Brownell

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8 Scopus citations


The polymerization of 2-fluoroadenosine 5′-diphosphate by polynucleotide phosphorylase to give high molecular weight poly(2-fluoroadenylic acid), poly(fl2A), is described. Both the single-stranded and double-stranded (acid) forms of poly(fl2A) exhibit strikingly similar ultraviolet and circular dichroism spectra to those of poly(A), and the enzymatic polymerization rates and thermal hyperchromicities of the two polymers are also very similar. However, the pKa of poly(fl2A) for protonation at N-1 is 2.9 compared to 5.9 for poly(A) under similar conditions. Poly(fl2A) forms a triple-stranded helix with poly(U) which has ultraviolet and cd spectra very reminiscent of poly(A) · 2 poly(U), but no conditions could be found which permitted the formation of a double helix. In the Escherichia coli ribosome system poly(fl2A) codes for the synthesis of polylysine, as does poly(A), although the rate and extent of incorporation were less in the former case. The role of basicity of adenine N-1 in these interactions is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-517
Number of pages10
JournalBBA Section Nucleic Acids And Protein Synthesis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 26 1979

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by Research Grants CAl1935 CA13592 (RV) from the National Cancer, NIH DHEW.


  • Basicity
  • Helix stabilization
  • Poly(2-fluoroadenylic acid)
  • Polynucleotide phosphorylase


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