Role of electron-driven proton-transfer processes in the excited-state deactivation of the adenine-thymine base pair

Serhiy Perun, Andrzej L Sobolewski, Wolfgang Domcke
Journal of Physical Chemistry. A 2006 July 27, 110 (29): 9031-8
Exploratory electronic structure calculations have been performed with the CC2 (simplified singles and doubles coupled-cluster) method for two conformers of the adenine (A)-thymine (T) base pair, with emphasis on excited-state proton-transfer reactions. The Watson-Crick conformer and the most stable (in the gas-phase) conformer of the A-T base pair have been considered. The equilibrium geometries of the ground state and of the lowest excited electronic states have been determined with the MP2 (second-order Møller-Plesset) and CC2 methods, respectively. Vertical and adiabatic excitation energies, oscillator strengths, and dipole moments of the excited states are reported. Of particular relevance for the photochemistry of the A-T base pair are optically dark (1)pipi* states of charge-transfer character. Although rather high in energy at the ground-state equilibrium geometry, these states are substantially lowered in energy by the transfer of a proton, which thus neutralizes the charge separation. A remarkable difference of the energetics of the proton-transfer reaction is predicted for the two tautomers of A-T: in the Watson-Crick conformer, but not in the most stable conformer, a sequence of conical intersections connects the UV-absorbing (1)pipi* state in a barrierless manner with the electronic ground state. These conical intersections allow a very fast deactivation of the potentially reactive excited states in the Watson-Crick conformer. The results provide evidence that the specific hydrogen-bonding pattern of the Watson-Crick conformer endows this structure with a greatly enhanced photostability. This property of the Watson-Crick conformer of A-T may have been essential for the selection of this species as carrier of genetic information in early stages of the biological evolution.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"