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Copyright 2005 by Eric Martz,
University of Massachusetts, Amherst MA USA.

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In October, 2005, the first empirical structure for a B-form to Z-form transition in a DNA double helix was reported by Ha, Lowenhaupt, Rich, Kim & Kim.

The surprise was that only a single base pair is broken, with these two bases extruded.

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DNA B-Form to Z-Form Transition
Two bases are extruded at the transition.

The transition structure comes from a crystal structure (2ACJ) stabilized with a Z-form-binding protein. The B- and Z- forms have been extended in the model shown here, kindly provided by Kyeong Kyu Kim (Nature 437:1183, 2005)
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DNA B-Form to Z-Form Transition
Two bases are extruded at the transition.

This is the crystallographic result, showing three protein domains bound to the less stable Z-Form, stabilizing it.
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DNA B-Form to Z-Form Transition
Backbone view, with extruded bases at the transition.


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DNA B-Form/B-Form to Z-Form/Z-Form Transition
Strands distinguished, also the two extruded bases at the transition.


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