5′ Modification of duplex DNA with a ruthenium electron donor-acceptor pair using solid-phase DNA synthesis

Natia L. Frank, Thomas J. Meade*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Incorporation of metalated nucleosides into DNA through covalent modification is crucial to measurement of thermal electron-transfer rates and the dependence of these rates with structure, distance, and position. Here, we report the first synthesis of an electron donor-acceptor pair of 5′ metallonudeosides and their subsequent incorporation into oligonucleotides using solid-phase DNA synthesis techniques. Large-scale syntheses of metal-containing oligonucleotides are achieved using 5′ modified phosporamidites containing [Ru(acac)2(IMPy)]2+ (acac is acetylacetonato; IMPy is 2′-iminomethylpyridyl-2′-deoxyuridine) (3) and [Ru(bpy)2(IMPy)]2+ (bpy is 2,2′-bipyridine; IMPy is 2′-iminomethylpyridyl-2′-deoxyuridine) (4). Duplexes formed with the metal-containing oligonucleotides exhibit thermal stability comparable to the corresponding unmetalated duplexes (Tm of modified duplex = 49 °C vs Tm of unmodified duplex = 47 °C). Electrochemical (3, E1/2 = -0.04 V vs NHE; 4, E1/2 = 1.12 V vs NHE), absorption (3, λmax = 568, 369 nm; 4, λmax = 480 nm), and emission (4, λmax = 720 nm, τ = 55 ns, Π = 1.2 x 10-4) data for the ruthenium-modified nucleosides and oligonucleotides indicate that incorporation into an oligonucleotide does not perturb the electronic properties of the ruthenium complex or the DNA significantly. In addition, the absence of any change in the emission properties upon metalated duplex formation suggests that the [Ru(bpy)2(IMPy)]2+[Ru- (acac)2(IMPy)]2+ pair will provide a valuable probe for DNA-mediated electron-transfer studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1039-1044
Number of pages6
JournalInorganic chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 24 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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