The mechanism of dissociation of cytosine pairs mediated by silver ions

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The development of structured molecular systems based on a nucleic acid framework takes into account the ability of single-stranded DNA to form a stable double-stranded structure due to stacking interactions and hydrogen bonds of complementary pairs of nucleotides. To increase the stability of the DNA double helix and to expand the temperature range in the hybridization protocols, it was proposed to use more stable metal-mediated complexes of nucleotide pairs as an alternative to Watson-Crick hydrogen bonds. One of the most frequently considered options is the use of silver ions to stabilize a pair of cytosines from opposite DNA strands. Silver ions specifically bind to N3 cytosines along the helix axis to form, as is believed, a strong N3–Ag+–N3 bond, relative to which, two rotational isomers, the cis- and trans-configurations of C–Ag+–C can be formed. In present work, a theoretical study and a comparative analysis of the free energy profile of the dissociation of two ะก–Ag+–C isomers were carried out using the combined method of molecular mechanics and quantum chemistry (QM/MM). As a result, it was shown that the cis-configuration is more favorable in energy than the trans- for a single pair of cytosines, and the geometry of the global minimum at free energy profile for both isomers differs from the equilibrium geometries obtained previously by quantum chemistry methods. Apparently, the silver ion stabilization model of the DNA duplex should take into account not only the direct binding of silver ions to cytosines, but also the presence of related factors, such as stacking interaction in extended DNA, interplanar hydrogen bonds, and metallophilic interaction of neighboring silver ions.

Keywords: DNA, cytosines, silver ions, QM / MM, free energy profile
Citation in English: Kliuev P.N., Ramazanov R.R. The mechanism of dissociation of cytosine pairs mediated by silver ions // Computer Research and Modeling, 2019, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 685-693
Citation in English: Kliuev P.N., Ramazanov R.R. The mechanism of dissociation of cytosine pairs mediated by silver ions // Computer Research and Modeling, 2019, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 685-693
DOI: 10.20537/2076-7633-2019-11-4-685-693
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