The vibrational spectra of four genomic and two synthetic DNAs, encompassing a wide range in base composition [poly(dA-dT). poly(dA-dT), 0% G + C; Clostridium perfringens DNA, 27% G + C; calf thymus DNA, 42% G + C; Escherichia coli DNA, 50% G + C; Micrococcus luteus DNA, 72% G + C; poly(dG-dC).poly(dG-dC), 100% G + C] (dA: deoxyadenosine; dG: deoxyguanosine; dC: deoxycytidine; dT: thymidine), have been analyzed using Raman difference methods of high sensitivity. The results show that the Raman signature of B DNA depends in detail upon both genomic base composition and sequence. Raman bands assigned to vibrational modes of the deoxyribose-phosphate backbone are among the most sensitive to base sequence, indicating that within the B family of conformations major differences occur in the backbone geometry of AT- and GC-rich domains. Raman bands assigned to in-plane vibrations of the purine and pyrimidine bases-particularly of A and T-exhibit large deviations from the patterns expected for random base distributions, establishing that Raman hypochromic effects in genomic DNA are also highly sequence dependent. The present study provides a basis for future use of Raman spectroscopy to analyze sequence-specific DNA-ligand interactions. The demonstration of sequence dependency in the Raman spectrum of genomic B DNA also implies the capability to distinguish genomic DNAs by means of their characteristic Raman signatures.
Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.