Modified Guanines as Constituents of Smart Ligands for Nucleic Acid Quadruplexes

M. Durec, F. Zaccaria, C. Fonseca Guerra, R. Marek

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Repetitive guanine-rich nucleic acid sequences play a crucial role in maintaining genome stability and the cell life cycle and represent potential targets for regulatory drugs. Recently, it has been demonstrated that guanine-based ligands with a porphyrin core can be used as markers of G-quadruplex assemblies in cell tissues. Herein, model systems of guanine-based ligands are explored by DFT methods. The energies of formation of modified guanine tetrads and those of modified tetrads stacked on the top of natural guanine tetrads have been calculated. The interaction energy has been decomposed into contributions from hydrogen bonding, stacking, and ion coordination and a twist–rise potential energy scan has been performed to find the individual local minima. Energy decomposition analysis reveals the impact of various substituents (F, Cl, Br, I, Me, NMe2) on individual energy terms. In addition, cooperative reinforcement in forming the modified and stacked tetrads, as well as the frontier orbitals participating in the hydrogen-bonding framework involving the HOMO–LUMO gap between the occupied σHOMO on the proton-accepting C=O and =N− groups and unoccupied σLUMO on the N−H groups, has been studied. The investigated systems are demonstrated to have a potential in ligand development, mainly due to stacking enhancement compared with natural guanine, which is used as a reference.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10912-10922
Number of pages11
JournalChemistry: A European Journal
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2016


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