John C. Sutherland, Bohai Lin, Jo Ann Mugavero, John Trunk, Maria Tomasz, Regina Santella, Luis Marky, Kenneth J. Breslauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) circular dichroism (CD) of double stranded DNA and RNA is greater in amplitude than the CD of these molecules for wavelengths longer than 200 nm. The amplitude of the VUV‐CD depends on the base composition of DNA, with guanine‐cytosine base pairs contributing more intensity than adenine‐thymine base pairs. The shape and amplitude of the VUV‐CO are better indicators of nucleic acid conformation (A, B or Z) than are those of the longer wavelength CD. We illustrate the unique features of VUV‐CD with specific examples. In the presence of Cs+ and ethanol, VUV‐CD reveals that poly(dA‐dC)poly(dG‐dT) forms a right handed double helix despite the inversion of the longer wavelength CD, which usually is used as a benchmark for the left‐handed form. The greater magnitude of the VUV‐CD of DNA and RNA compared to longer wavelengths means that the VUV‐CD is less susceptible to distortion by the induced CD of UV‐absorbing ligands like mitomycin C and N‐2‐acetylaminofluorene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-301
Number of pages7
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'VACUUM ULTRAVIOLET CIRCULAR DICHROISM OF DOUBLE STRANDED NUCLEIC ACIDS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this