Ethidium (E) is a powerful probe of DNA dynamics and DNA-mediated electron transfer (ET). Molecular dynamical processes, such as solvation and orientation, are important on the time scale of ET. Here, we report studies of the femtosecond and picosecond time-resolved dynamics of E, E with 2'deoxyguanosine triphosphate (GTP) in water, and E with 7-deaza-2'- deoxyguanosine triphosphate (ZTP) in water; E undergoes ET with ZTP but not GTP. These studies elucidate the critical role of relative orientational motions of the donor-acceptor complex on ET processes in solution. For ET from ZTP to E, such motions are in fact the rate-determining step. Our results indicate that these complexes reorient before ET. The time scale for the solvation of E in water is I ps, and the orientational relaxation time of E is 70 ps. The impact of orientational and solvation effects on ET between E and mononucleotides must be considered in the application of E as a probe of DNA ET.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Feb 16 1999|
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