Date of Award

Fall 12-14-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. Markus W. Germann

Second Advisor

Dr. W. David Wilson

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathyrn Grant

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Donald Hamelberg


The previous view of DNA as a linear sequence of bases is evolving to consider structure, topology and dynamics. Sequences surrounding damage lesions have been shown to effect enzyme recognition and processing. Here we present an in depth investigation of subtle structural and dynamical features imparted to nucleic acid duplexes by a designed modification or damage lesions. Highly restrained solution structures were generated and validated utilizing a range of NMR techniques. This allowed for the characterization of multiple features of the nucleic acid duplex; such as base pairing, backbone torsion angles, deoxyribose sugar pucker, and intra and inter nucleotide proton distances. Additional experiments provided insight into dynamic movements of the nucleic bases. These features are then correlated to enzyme data in order to explain the observed modulation of activity.

Included in

Chemistry Commons