Role of environmental factors on the structure and spectroscopic response of 5′-DNA-porphyrin conjugates caused by changes in the porphyrin-porphyrin interactions

Angela Mammana, Gennaro Pescitelli, Tomohiro Asakawa, Steffen Jockusch, Ana G. Petrovic, Regina R. Monaco, Roberto Purrello, Nicholas J. Turro, Koji Nakanishi, George A. Ellestad, Milan Balaz, Nina Berova

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70 Citations (Scopus)


We have explored the utility, strength, and limitation of throughspace exciton-coupled circular dichroism in determination of the secondary structure of optically active chromophoric nanoarrays using the example of end-capped porphyrin-and metalloporphyrin-oligodeoxynucleotide conjugates. We put special emphasis on the explanation of the origin and significance of the distinctive multiple bands in the CD spectra (trisignate and tetrasignate CD bands). Such CD profiles are often observed in chiral aggregates or multichromophoric arrays but have never before been studied in detail. We found that variation of temperature and ionic strength has a profound effect on the geometry of the porphyrin-DNA conjugates and thus the nature of electronic interactions. At lower temperatures and in the absence of NaCl all three 5′-DNA-porphyrin conjugates display negative bisignate CD exciton couplets of variable intensity in the Soret region resulting from through-space interaction between the electric transition dipole moments of the two end-capped porphyrins. As the temperature is raised these exciton couplets are transformed into single positive bands originating from the porphyrin-single-strand DNA interactions. At higher ionic strengths and low temperatures, multisignate CD bands are observed in the porphyrin Soret region. These CD signature bands originate from a combination of intermolecular, end-to-end porphyrin-porphyrin stacking between duplexes and porphyrin-DNA interactions. The intermolecular aggregation was confirmed by fluorescence and absorption spectroscopy and resonance light scattering. DeVoe theoretical CD calculations, in conjunction with molecular dynamics simulations and Monte Carlo conformational searches, were used to mimic the observed bisignate exciton-coupled CD spectra as well as multiple CD bands. Calculations correctly predicted the sign and shape of the experimentally observed CD spectra. These studies reveal that the exciton-coupled circular dichroism is a very useful technique for the determination of the structure of optically active arrays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11853-11866
Number of pages14
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry


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