Nucleic Acid Structure and General Features

ID #2234

What is the difference between the hydrogen bonds between base pairs and base-stacking interactions? I know that AT pairs have two hydrogen bonds and GC pairs have three, but what about base-stacking interactions?




Base-stacking interactions are hydrophobic interactions between the bases on each strand to minimize interaction of these bases with water. It is sort of like stacking plates - the rings of the different bases stack on top of each other. It is not specific; rather, the combined effect of so many stacked bases helps to stabilize the whole double helix. 

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