In this study, we have investigated 12 tautomers of the DNA base adenine at the BP86/TZ2P and BP86/ QZ4P levels of density functional theory. The vertical and adiabatic ionization energies of all tautomers were determined as the difference in energy between the radical cation and the corresponding neutral system. Furthermore, an evaluation is made for the eigenvalue spectra calculated with the SAOP functional, which is shown to lead to substantial improvements for orbital energies compared to BP86. We have also explored the correlations between the Kohn-Sham orbitals of the different tautomers at the BP86/QZ4P and SAOP/QZ4P levels. Finally, we discuss implications of the existence of the tautomeric forms of adenine for the DNA replication. © 2006 American Chemical Society.