First mention of SNAP in a peer-reviewed journal article

The other day, I came across an article titled Different duplex/quadruplex junctions determine the properties of anti-thrombin aptamers with mixed folding by Krauss et al. published in Nucleic Acids Research (NAR). This NAR article draw my attention via Google Scholar alert because of its citation to the 2008 3DNA Nature Protocols paper, as shown below (in the Structural analysis section):

3DNA-dssr (41) was used to calculate local and overall geometric parameters of the aptamer. Superpose program from CCP4 package (42) was used to calculate root mean square deviations. Features of the thrombin–RE31 interface were calculated using Cocomaps server (43), whereas contacts between the two molecules, as well as packing interactions between the aptamer and symmetry related thrombin molecules, were found by using 3DNA-snap (41) and Pisa (44) programs. All the results were veri ed by visual inspec- tion of the structure with WinCoot (39).

Moveover, Table 2 lists Stacking interactions as calculated by 3DNA-DSSR (41) among residues belonging to the duplex, the junction and the quadruplex of RE31, with a note on the definition of base-stacking interactions:

Base-stacking is quantified as the area of the overlapped polygon de ned by the two bases of the interacting nucleotides, where the base atoms are projected onto the mean base plane.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time SNAP is mentioned in a peer-reviewed journal article. This paper also made good use of DSSR for the analysis of a complicated DNA structure (like RNA), with three non-canonical base pairs at the duplex/quadruplex junction (Figure 3) and extensive stacking interactions (Figure 4).

The duplex/quadruplex junction in RE31 aptamer.
Figure 3. The duplex/quadruplex junction in RE31 aptamer.

Ribbon representation of RE31 highlighting the continuous stacking of bases from the duplex to the quadruplex region.
Figure 4. Ribbon representation of RE31 highlighting the continuous stacking of bases from the duplex to the quadruplex region.

As this paper and those by Paul Paukstelis illustrate, DNA can adopt far more complicated 3D structures enabled by non-canonical base pairing schemes than the simple Watson-Crick paired double helices. 3DNA (including DSSR and SNAP) is well suited for the analysis of such extraordinary structures. On a different perspective, following 3DNA citations has become an effective way for me to keep in pace with relevant literature.





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