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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Conformational effects on photophysical characteristics of C5-C5'-linked dihydrothymine dimers in solution.

Photophysical characteristics of N-substituted C5-C5'-linked dihydrothymine dimers (1a,b[meso], meso compounds of [5R,5'S]-bi-5,6-dihydrothymines; 1a,b[rac], racemic compounds of [5R,5'R]-bi-5,6-dihydrothymines and [5S,5'S]-bi-5,6-dihydrothymines) in aqueous solution with varying contents of less-polar aprotic solvent such as tetrahydrofuran or dioxane have been investigated by UV-absorption, and steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopies. Among the C5-C5'-linked dimers, (5R,5'S)-bi-5,6-dihydro-1-methylthymine (1a[meso]) showed a red-shifted weak UV-absorption band at 270-350 nm and excimer fluorescence emission at lambda max = 370 nm with a quantum yield (phi F) of approximately 0.1 in phosphate buffer (pH < 10) at 293 K. Racemic compound of 5,6-dihydro-1-methylthymine dimer (1a[rac]), meso and racemic compounds of 5,6-dihydro-1,3-dimethylthymine dimers (1b[meso] and 1b[rac]) in phosphate buffer were nonfluorescent under similar conditions. The UV-absorption and fluorescence spectral characteristics of 1a[meso] in aqueous solution were interpreted in terms of intramolecular stacking interactions between the dihydropyrimidine chromophores leading to a preferential "closed-shell" conformation both in the ground state and the excited singlet state. In basic solutions at pH > pKa = 11.7, the fluorescence quantum yield of 1a[meso] decreased due to a dominant "open-shell" conformation resulting from the electrostatic repulsion between the deprotonated dihydrothymine chromophores of 1a[meso] in a dianion form.[1]


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