Exploration of the Theobromine-Water Dimer: Comparison with DNA Microhydration
Understanding the molecular basis of the appearance of life on Earth is an exciting research field. Many factors may have influenced the election of the molecules used by living beings and evolution may have modified those original compounds. In an attempt to understand the role played by intermolecular interactions in the election of CGAT as the alphabeth of life, we present here a thorough experimental and computational study on the interaction of theobromine with water. Theobromine is a xanthine derivative, structurally related to the nucleobases, also present in many living beings. The experimental results demonstrate that the most stable isomer of theobromine-water was formed and detected in supersonic expansions. Such isomer, very well resembles the structure of the dimers between nucleobases and water, offering similar values of binding energy. A comparison between the results obtained for theobromine-water with those reported in the literature for monohydrates of nucleobases is also offered.