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J Phys Chem A. 2006 Jun 22;110(24):7719-27.

Binding of gold clusters with DNA base pairs: a density functional study of neutral and anionic GC-Aun and AT-Aun (n = 4, 8) complexes.

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  • 1Department of Physics, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221 005, India.


Binding of clusters of gold atoms (Au) with the guanine-cytosine (GC) and adenine-thymine (AT) Watson-Crick DNA base pairs was studied using the density functional theory (DFT). Geometries of the neutral GC-Au(n) and AT-Au(n) and the corresponding anionic (GC-Au(n))(-1) and (AT-Au(n))(-1) (n = 4, 8) complexes were fully optimized in different electronic states, that is, singlet and triplet states for the neutral complexes and doublet and quartet states for the anionic complexes, using the B3LYP density functional method. The 6-31+G basis set was used for all atoms except gold. For gold atoms, the Los Alamos effective core potential (ECP) basis set LanL2DZ was employed. Vibrational frequency calculations were performed to ensure that the optimized structures corresponded to potential energy surface minima. The gold clusters around the neutral GC and AT base pairs have a T-shaped structure, which satisfactorily resemble those observed experimentally and in other theoretical studies. However, in anionic GC and AT base pairs, the gold clusters have extended zigzag and T-shaped structures. We found that guanine and adenine have high affinity for Au clusters, with their N3 and N7 sites being preferentially involved in binding with the same. The calculated adiabatic electron affinities (AEAs) of the GC-Au(n)complexes (n = 4, 8) were found to be much larger than those of the isolated base pairs.

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