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Curr Protoc Nucleic Acid Chem. 2001 May;Chapter 6:Unit 6.2. doi: 10.1002/0471142700.nc0602s00.

Probing nucleic acid structure with shape-selective rhodium and ruthenium complexes.

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  • 1California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA.


In this unit, transition metal complexes are used as photochemical probes for the structure of RNA and DNA. The transition metal ion provides a rigid substitutionally inert framework and an octahedral geometry for ligand coordination. The complexes can be constructed to define shapes, symmetries, and functionalities that complement those of the nucleic acid target. Complex formation is easily detected by light-induced nucleic acid cleavage. The modular construction of the complexes makes it possible to generate probes to examine a wide variety of structural characteristics of nucleic acids.

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