Circular Dichroism Spectroscopy of DNA: From Duplexes to Quadruplexes
Nucleic acids bear the genetic information and participate in its expression and evolution during replication, repair, recombination, transcription, and translation. These phenomena are mostly based on recognition of nucleic acids by proteins. The major factor enabling the specific recognition is structure. Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy is very useful to study secondary structures of nucleic acids, in general, and DNA, in particular. CD sensitively reflects isomerizations among distinct conformational states. The isomerizations may operate as molecular switches regulating various physiological or pathological processes. Here, we review CD spectra of nucleic acids, beginning with early studies on natural DNA molecules through analyses of synthetic polynucleotides to study of selected genomic fragments. Chirality 24:691698, 2012. (c) 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.