DNA base stacking involving adenine and 2-aminopurine

Tanja van Mourik, Simon William Leslie Hogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The potential energy surfaces of stacked structures consisting of adenine (A) and 2-aminopurine (2AP) have been investigated in the gas phase. Both face-to-back (the double ring system of one base exactly on top of that of the other one) and face-to-face (one base flipped by 180°) A/A, 2AP/2AP and A/2AP stacks were considered. Minima and transition states were optimised at the counterpoise-corrected M06-2X/6-31+G(d) level of theory. For each type of stack, between five and nine minima were located, usually connected by low barriers of 1-2 kcal/mol. This shows the large conformational flexibility of these stacked base pairs. The double-ring system in A and 2AP affords multiple minima with similar twist angles, making the potential energy surface of stacks comprising of purine bases more complex than those of pyrimidine stacks. The locations of the stationary points on the potential energy surface differ for the three different systems; thus, the replacement of A by 2AP in a base stack changes its potential energy landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-168
JournalStructural Chemistry
Issue number1
Early online date26 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


  • Stacking
  • 2-aminopurine
  • Adenine
  • Density functional theory
  • DNA bases


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