Electron transfer between bases in double helical DNA

Shana O. Kelley, Jacqueline K. Barton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


Fluorescent analogs of adenine that selectively oxidize guanine were used to investigate photoinduced electron transfer through the DNA π-stack as a function of reactant stacking and energetics. Small variations in these factors led to profound changes in the kinetics and distance dependences of DNA mediated electron-transfer reactions. Values of β, a parameter reflecting the dependence of electron transfer on distance, ranged from 0.1 to 1.0 per angstrom. Strong stacking interactions result in the fastest electron-transfer kinetics. Electrons are thus transported preferentially through an intrastrand rather than interstrand pathway. Reactant energetics also modulate the distance dependence of DNA-mediated charge transport. These studies may resolve the range of disparate results previously reported, and paradigms must now be developed to describe these properties of the DNA π- stack, which can range from insulator- to 'wire'-like.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-381
Number of pages7
Issue number5400
StatePublished - Jan 15 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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