Recognition of a cognate RNA aptamer by neomycin B: quantitative evaluation of hydrogen bonding and electrostatic interactions

Nucleic Acids Res. 2000 Aug 1;28(15):2935-42. doi: 10.1093/nar/28.15.2935.


Aminoglycosides are an important class of antibiotic that selectively target RNA structural motifs. Recently we have demonstrated copper derivatives of amino-glycosides to be efficient cleavage agents for cognate RNA motifs. To fully develop their potential as pharmaceutical agents it is necessary to understand both the structural mechanisms used by aminoglycosides to target RNA, and the relative contributions of hydrogen bonding and electrostatic interactions to recognition selectivity. Herein we report results from a calorimetric analysis of a stem-loop 23mer RNA aptamer complexed to the aminoglycoside neomycin B. Key thermodynamic parameters for complex formation have been determined by isothermal titration calorimetry, and from the metal-ion dependence of these binding parameters the relative contributions of electrostatics and hydrogen bonding toward binding affinity have been assessed. The principal mechanism for recognition and binding of neomycin B to the RNA major groove is mediated by hydrogen bonding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Calorimetry
  • Framycetin / chemistry*
  • Framycetin / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Bonding*
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • RNA / analysis
  • RNA / chemistry*
  • RNA / metabolism
  • Static Electricity*
  • Thermodynamics


  • Framycetin
  • RNA