True stabilization energies for the optimal planar hydrogen-bonded and stacked structures of guanine...cytosine, adenine...thymine, and their 9- and 1-methyl derivatives: complete basis set calculations at the MP2 and CCSD(T) levels and comparison with experiment

Petr Jurecka, Pavel Hobza
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2003 December 17, 125 (50): 15608-13
Planar H-bonded and stacked structures of guanine...cytosine (G.C), adenine...thymine (A...T), 9-methylguanine...1-methylcytosine (mG...mC), and 9-methyladenine...1-methylthymine (mA...mT) were optimized at the RI-MP2 level using the TZVPP ([5s3p2d1f/3s2p1d]) basis set. Planar H-bonded structures of G...C, mG...mC, and A...T correspond to the Watson-Crick (WC) arrangement, in contrast to mA...mT for which the Hoogsteen (H) structure is found. Stabilization energies for all structures were determined as the sum of the complete basis set limit of MP2 energies and a (DeltaE(CCSD(T)) - DeltaE(MP2)) correction term evaluated with the cc-pVDZ(0.25,0.15) basis set. The complete basis set limit of MP2 energies was determined by two-point extrapolation using the aug-cc-pVXZ basis sets for X = D and T and X = T and Q. This procedure is required since the convergency of the MP2 interaction energy for the present complexes is rather slow, and it is thus important to include the extrapolation to the complete basis set limit. For the MP2/aug-cc-pVQZ level of theory, stabilization energies for all complexes studied are already very close to the complete basis set limit. The much cheaper D-->T extrapolation provided a complete basis set limit close (by less than 0.7 kcal/mol) to the more accurate T-->Q term, and the D-->T extrapolation can be recommended for evaluation of complete basis set limits of more extended complexes (e.g. larger motifs of DNA). The convergency of the (DeltaE(CCSD(T)) - DeltaE(MP2)) term is known to be faster than that of the MP2 or CCSD(T) correlation energy itself, and the cc-pVDZ(0.25,0.15) basis set provides reasonable values for planar H-bonded as well as stacked structures. Inclusion of the CCSD(T) correction is essential for obtaining reliable relative values for planar H-bonding and stacking interactions; neglecting the CCSD(T) correction results in very considerable errors between 2.5 and 3.4 kcal/mol. Final stabilization energies (kcal/mol) for the base pairs studied are very substantial (A...T WC, 15.4; mA...mT H, 16.3; A...T stacked, 11.6; mA...mT stacked, 13.1; G...C WC, 28.8; mG...mC WC, 28.5; G...C stacked, 16.9; mG...mC stacked, 18.0), much larger than published previously. On the basis of comparison with experimental data, we conclude that our values represent the lower boundary of the true stabilization energies. On the basis of error analysis, we expect the present H-bonding energies to be fairly close to the true values, while stacked energies are still expected to be about 10% too low. The stacking energy for the mG...mC pair is considerably lower than the respective H-bonding energy, but it is larger than the mA...mT H-bonding energy. This conclusion could significantly change the present view on the importance of specific H-bonding interactions and nonspecific stacking interactions in nature, for instance, in DNA. Present stabilization energies for H-bonding and stacking energies represent the most accurate and reliable values and can be considered as new reference data.

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