Variable temperature infrared spectroscopy of cytosine-guanine base pairs: tautomerism versus polarization.
This report describes an infrared (IR) spectroscopic study of a model cytosine-guanine base pair. This base pair is part of a self-consistent experimental system based on lipophilic ribose derivatives of cytidine (C), guanosine (G) and O6-methylguanosine (O6MeG) that are soluble in non-aqueous, low dielectric solvents at appreciable concentrations. Previous experiments on this system have revealed different rotation dynamics for the amino bonds within the CG base pair, an observation that could be explained by the presence of rare tautomers (P.O. Lowdin, Reviews of Modern Physics 35,724 (1963)), or by mutual polarization of the base pairs (L.D. Williams, N.G. Williams and B.R. Shaw,J.Am.Chem.Soc. 112,829 (1990)). The IR spectra in the OH and NH stretching region indicate formation of hydrogen-bonded CG base pairs and self associates in 1,2-dichlorobenzene over a temperature range from 10 to 290K. Changes in the lineshapes and intensities of the IR bands with temperature correlate with phase transitions of the solvent, but no evidence is seen for an OH stretching band that would indicate the formation of hydroxyl tautomers within base pairs. Similarly, the relative intensities of the C = O stretching bands of CG in cyclohexane solution remain constant over this same temperature range, confirming that within the base pair, the tautomeric states of the bases remain essentially unperturbed in the 2-amino/6-keto form of G and the 2-keto/4-amino form of C. The spectra of O6-MeG aid in the band assignments, since this molecule is frozen in an equivalent of the 2-amino/6-hydroxyl tautomer, but without the OH group and its associated stretching band. We conclude that the probability of tautomerism does not appear to be sufficient to explain the different rotation dynamics for the two amino bonds of the CG base pair. Rather it is argued that mutual polarization within the base pair, which would increase the bond order of the amino bond of C within the base pair, can explain the results without the formation of unconventional tautomers.
MacPhail, RA; Williams, LD; Jones, DA; Shaw, BR
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)