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J Inorg Biochem. 2013 Oct;127:90-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2013.07.034. Epub 2013 Jul 31.

Intercalative interaction of asymmetric copper(II) complex with DNA: experimental, molecular docking, molecular dynamics and TDDFT studies.

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Department of Applied Chemistry, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China.


The intercalative interactions of small molecules with DNA are important in a variety of biological processes including mutagenesis, carcinogenesis, and chemotherapy. A comprehensive research protocol including experiments and calculations was employed to investigate the intercalative interaction between metallointercalator copper(II) complex and DNA. The intercalative binding mode has been validated by UV spectra, fluorescence spectra, CD spectra and viscosity measurements. The classical molecular dynamics simulation was carried out to investigate the intercalative interaction between asymmetric copper(II) complex and DNA. An analytical method was proposed to simulate the dynamically changing absorption spectra of intercalator/DNA system. According to the established model, the changing process of the electronic absorption spectra for intercalator/DNA system can be predicted accurately. A rational explanation for the change law of absorption spectra has been proposed. Moreover, the analyses of the frontier orbital reveal that the red shift of the absorption spectra is due to the increase of π orbital energy caused by the coupling of the π orbital of the intercalated ligand with the π orbital of DNA. This cause of red shift of spectra is completely different from the previous inference. All these insights are of crucial importance for correctly analyzing the absorption spectra of intercalative interaction, as well as for explaining the macroscopic phenomena observed in experiments at the molecular level.


Absorption spectra; DFT; DNA; Intercalation; Metallointercalators; Molecular dynamics

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