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The possible formation of inter-base C-H.O hydrogen bonds in A.T, A.U and certain non-Watson-Crick base pairs is examined. A geometrical analysis in conjunction with implications for the thermodynamic stability of the base pairs suggests that C-H.O hydrogen bonds could form in nucleic acid base pairs. They may alleviate destabilizing interactions that would arise if an unsatisfied hydrogen-bond acceptor were present and mediate secondary hydrogen-bonding effects in these base pairs.

Original publication




Journal article


Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr

Publication Date





136 - 139