Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2023

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Randy Wadkins

Second Advisor

Saumen Chakraborty

Third Advisor

Dale Nagle

Relational Format



B-form DNA can adopt alternative structures while in superhelical duress. Alternative DNA structures are favored when there is an asymmetric distribution on complementary DNA strands. Cytosine rich strands may utilize cytosine-cytosine base pairing to form a four-stranded structure known as the i-motif (iM). The stability of iMs is affected by several factors such as DNA sequence, temperature, pH, ionic strength of the solution, and crowded conditions. While the effects of temperature, pH, and crowding conditions on iM stability have been well documented, the effects of ion presence in a solution has been less studied. Hence, those studies are the basis for this thesis. Our results suggest that the group II metals Mg2+ and Ca2+ increase C6T iM thermal stability while others such as Sr2+ and Ba2+ have lesser effects on iM thermal stability. The effects of Be2+ on the iM thermal stability were inconclusive due to challenges with the metal and buffer solution.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
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