A new turn in codon–anticodon selection through halogen bonds†
The halogen bond is relatively a less characterized intermolecular interaction compared to the hydrogen bond and the structure, stability and electronic structures of halogenated base pairs, particularly at the wobble junction have been investigated using DFT. Three halogens, namely Cl, Br and I, have been tested for their role in such situations with uracil as the anticodon base. Computed results reveal that when halogen atoms replace protons in the hydrogen bonding positions they induce lot of geometric changes that flip some of the observed base pairs into unobserved base pairs and vice versa. NCI, NBO and AIM analyses explain these changes at the electronic level. The new codons will have lot of impact in future applications, particularly in self assembly of biomaterials and t-RNA synthetic strategies.