Distance-dependent electron transfer in DNA hairpins

Frederick D. Lewis, Taifeng Wu, Yifan Zhang, Robert L. Letsinger, Scott R. Greenfield, Michael R. Wasielewski

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The distance dependence of photoinduced electron transfer in duplex DNA was determined for a family of synthetic DNA hairpins in which a stilbene dicarboxamide forms a bridge connecting two oligonucleotide arms. Investigation of the fluorescence and transient absorption spectra of these hairpins established that no photoinduced electron transfer occurs for a hairpin that has six deoxyadenosine-deoxythymidine base pairs. However, the introduction of a single deoxyguanosine-deoxycytidine base pair resulted in distance-dependent fluorescence quenching and the formation of the stilbene union radical. Kinetic analysis suggests that duplex DNA is somewhat more effective than proteins as a medium for electron transfer but that it does not function as a molecular wire.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-676
Number of pages4
Issue number5326
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 1997

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    Lewis, F. D., Wu, T., Zhang, Y., Letsinger, R. L., Greenfield, S. R., & Wasielewski, M. R. (1997). Distance-dependent electron transfer in DNA hairpins. Science, 277(5326), 673-676. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.277.5326.673