Silver-Stabilized Guanine Duplex: Structural and Optical Properties

Xi Chen*, Esko Makkonen, Dorothea Golze, Olga Lopez-Acevedo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
108 Downloads (Pure)


Recent experimental duplexes of DNA stabilized by Ag cations, pairing homostrands of guanine-guanine, cytosine-cytosine, adenine-thymine, and thymine-thymine, display much higher stability than the Watson-Crick paired DNA duplexes; these broaden the range of applications for DNA nanotechnology. Here we focus on silver-stabilized guanine duplexes in water. Using hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulations, we propose an atomic structure for the Ag+-mediated guanine duplex with two nucleobases per strand, G2-Ag2+-G2. We then compare experimental and time-dependent density functional theory-simulated electronic circular dichroism (ECD) spectra to validate our results. Both experimental and simulated ECD share two negative peaks around 220 and 280 nm, with no positive signal in the measured wavelength range. We found that the left- or right-handed disposition of bases in the structure has a decisive effect on the signs of the ECD. We conclude that G2-Ag2+-G2 is left-hand-oriented, and extrapolation of this orientation to longer strands gives rise to a left-hand-oriented parallel helix stabilized by interplanar H bonds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4789-4794
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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