Electron attachment to the hydrogenated Watson-Crick guanine cytosine base pair (GC+H): conventional and proton-transferred structures

J David Zhang, Zhongfang Chen, Henry F Schaefer
Journal of Physical Chemistry. A 2008 July 10, 112 (27): 6217-26
The anionic species resulting from hydride addition to the Watson-Crick guanine-cytosine (GC) DNA base pair are investigated theoretically. Proton-transferred structures of GC hydride, in which proton H1 of guanine or proton H4 of cytosine migrates to the complementary base-pair side, have been studied also. All optimized geometrical structures are confirmed to be minima via vibrational frequency analyses. The lowest energy structure places the additional hydride on the C6 position of cytosine coupled with proton transfer, resulting in the closed-shell anion designated 1T (G(-)C(C6)). Energetically, the major groove side of the GC pair has a greater propensity toward hydride/hydrogen addition than does the minor grove side. The pairing (dissociation) energy and electron-attracting ability of each anionic structure are predicted and compared with those of the neutral GC and the hydrogenated GC base pairs. Anion 8T (G(O6)C(-)) is a water-extracting complex and has the largest dissociation energy. Anion 2 (GC(C4)(-)) and the corresponding open-shell radical GC(C4) have the largest vertical electron detachment energy and adiabatic electron affinity, respectively. From the difference between the dissociation energy and electron-removal ability of the normal GC anion and the most favorable structure of GC hydride, it is clear that one may dissociate the GC anion and maintain the integrity of the GC hydride.

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