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Issue 18, 2009
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Microhydration of guanine⋯cytosine base pairs, a theoretical Study on the role of water in stability, structure and tautomeric equilibrium

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Abstract

The potential energy surfaces of guanine⋯cytosine complexes and microhydrated guanine⋯cytosine (one and two water molecules) were investigated by the molecular dynamics/quenching method (MD/Q), using the empirical potential Parm94 force field, implemented in the Amber program package. The calculations were conducted for all the possible combinations of the four most stable tautomers of guanine and three of cytosine (covering the canonical forms in both cases). The obtained structures were sorted by their structural motifs into three main groups: planar hydrogen-bonded; stacked; and T-shaped structures. The most stable structures found at the empirical potential energy surfaces were fully reoptimised at the second-order Møller–Plesset perturbation theory as well as using the density functional method with an empirical dispersion term (DFT-D). A combination of the canonical form of guanine and cytosine and canonical cytosine with a guanine tautomer where the hydrogen is switched from position N9 to N7 are energetically preferred in microsolvated systems as well as those without the presence of a solvent. The rising number of water molecules leads to smaller differences between the stability of the various combinations of the tautomers of bases in the base pairs. For some of the tautomer combinations (mainly the enolenol combination), two water molecules are sufficient for the preference of stacked structures over the H-bonded ones. The interaction energies and geometries obtained by the second-order Møller–Plesset perturbation theory method and the much less computationally demanding DFT-D method are comparable, except for stacked complexes, where the interaction energies are overestimated on average by 3 kcal mol−1 at the MP2 level.

Graphical abstract: Microhydration of guanine⋯cytosine base pairs, a theoretical Study on the role of water in stability, structure and tautomeric equilibrium

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Oct 2008, accepted on 03 Feb 2009 and first published on 05 Mar 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B819350A
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2009,11, 3430-3435
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    Microhydration of guanine⋯cytosine base pairs, a theoretical Study on the role of water in stability, structure and tautomeric equilibrium

    T. Zelený, P. Hobza and M. Kabeláč, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2009, 11, 3430
    DOI: 10.1039/B819350A

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