• Dhananjay Bhattacharyya

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Theoretical analysis of noncanonical base pairing interactions in RNA molecules

      Dhananjay Bhattacharyya Siv Chand Koripella Abhijit Mitra Vijay Babu Rajendran Bhabdyuti Sinha

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      Noncanonical base pairs in RNA have strong structural and functional implications but are currently not considered for secondary structure predictions. We present results of comparative ab initio studies of stabilities and interaction energies for the three standard and 24 selected unusual RNA base pairs reported in the literature. Hydrogen added models of isolated base pairs, with heavy atoms frozen in their ‘away from equilibrium’ geometries, built from coordinates extracted from NDB, were geometry optimized using HF/6-31G** basis set, both before and after unfreezing the heavy atoms. Interaction energies, including BSSE and deformation energy corrections, were calculated, compared with respective single point MP2 energies, and correlated with occurrence frequencies and with types and geometries of hydrogen bonding interactions. Systems having two or more N-H…O/N hydrogen bonds had reasonable interaction energies which correlated well with respective occurrence frequencies and highlighted the possibility of some of them playing important roles in improved secondary structure prediction methods. Several of the remaining base pairs with one N-H…O/N and/or one C-H…O/N interactions respectively, had poor interaction energies and negligible occurrences. High geometry variations on optimization of some of these were suggestive of their conformational switch like characteristics.

    • Effect of temperature on DNA double helix: An insight from molecular dynamics simulation

      Sangeeta Kundu Sanchita Mukherjee Dhananjay Bhattacharyya

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      The three-dimensional structure of DNA contains various sequence-dependent structural information, which control many cellular processes in life, such as replication, transcription, DNA repair, etc. For the above functions, DNA double helices need to unwind or melt locally, which is different from terminal melting, as often seen in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations or even in many DNA crystal structures. We have carried out detailed MD simulations of DNA double helices of regular oligonucleotide fragments as well as in polymeric constructs with water and charge-neutralizing counter-ions at several different temperatures. We wanted to eliminate the end-effect or terminal melting propensity by employing MD simulation of DNA oligonucleotides in such a manner that gives rise to properties of polymeric DNA of infinite length. The polymeric construct is expected to allow us to see local melting at elevated temperatures. Comparative structural analysis of oligonucleotides and its corresponding virtual polymer at various temperatures ranging from 300 K to 400 K is discussed. The general behaviour, such as volume expansion coefficients of both the simulations show high similarity, indicating polymeric construct, does not give many artificial constraints. Local melting of a polymer, even at elevated temperature, may need a high nucleation energy that was not available in the short (7 ns) simulations. We expected to observe such nucleation followed by cooperative melting of the polymers in longer MD runs. Such simulations of different polymeric sequences would facilitate us to predict probable melting origins in a polymeric DNA.

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