Theoretical studies of cis‐Pt(II)‐diammine binding to duplex DNA

Sharon L. McCarthy, Robert J. Hinde, Kenneth J. Miller, Janet S. Anderson, Harold Basch, Morris Krauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The binding of cis‐Pt(II) diammine (cis‐DP) to double‐stranded DNA was studied with several kinked conformations that can accommodate the formation of a square planar complex. Molecular mechanics (MM) calculations were performed to optimize the molecular fit. These results were combined with quantum mechanical (QM) calculations to ascertain the relative energetics of ligand binding through water vs direct binding of the phosphate to the ammine and platinum, and to guide the selection of DNA conformations to model complex formation. Based on QM and MM calculations, models are proposed that may be characterized by several general features. A structure involving hydrogen bonding between each ammine and distinct adjacent phosphate groups, referred to as closed conformation (CC), has already been reported. This is also found in the crystal structure of small dimers. We report alternative conformations that may be important in platination of duplex DNA. They are characterized by an intermediate conformation (IC), involving hydrogen bonding between one ammine and phosphate group, and an open conformation (OC), without ammine phosphate hydrogen bonding. The IC and OC can be stabilized by water bridges in the space between the ammine and the phosphate groups. Sugar puckers alternate from the type C(2′)‐endo or C(1′)‐exo (S), to the type C(3′)‐endo or C(2′)‐exo (N), with intermediate types near O(1′)‐endo (O). In general, the sugar puckers alternate from S to N to S through the platinated region (3′‐TpG*pG*p‐5′), with the complexed strand exhibiting, (3′)‐S*‐N*‐S‐(5′) alternation, while the complementary strand shows either (3′)‐S*‐N*‐S(5′) or (3′)‐S*‐N*‐O‐(5′) alternation. In both the OC and IC, a hydrogen bond is found between the ammine and O4(T) on thymine (T) at the (3′) end, adjacent to the complex site. There is a continuous range of backbone conformations through the platinated region which relate the OC to the IC. The models presented suggest that the dynamics of the binding of the cis‐Pt(II)‐diammines to adjacent N7(G) in double‐stranded DNA may encompass several conformational possibilities, and that water bridges may play a roll in supporting open and intermediate conformations. Proton–proton distances are reported to assist in the experimental determination of conformations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-836
Number of pages14
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - 1990


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