Recognition of thymine and related nucleosides by a ZnII-cyclen complex bearing a ferrocenyl pendant

Gilles Albert Gasser, Matthew James Belousoff, Alan Maxwell Bond, Zuzanna Ewa Kosowski, Leone Spiccia

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A cyclen derivative bearing a ferrocenyl arm (L) and a series of its Zn-II complexes [ZnL(OH2)][ClO4](2) (C1), [ZnL(OH)][ClO4] (C2), and [ZnL(Cl)][ClO4]center dot CH3CN (C3) (cyclen = 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane, L = 1-(ferrocenemethyl)-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane) have been prepared and characterized spectroscopically. An X-ray structure determination confirmed the formation of complex C1 and revealed that the coordinated water participates in hydrogen bonding with the perchlorate counter ions. The pK(a) value for deprotonation of the water molecule determined by potentiometric titration was found to be 7.36 +/- 0.09 at 25 degrees C and I = 0.1 (KNO3). The possibility of using complex C1 as a potential sensor for thymine derivatives in aqueous solution has been examined. Shifts in the H-1 and C-13 NMR resonances showed the binding occurred with thymine (T) and two thymine derivatives, thymidine (dT) and thymidine 5 -monophosphate (TMP2-). Significant shifts of the nu(CO) and nu(CC) vibrations of the thymine derivatives were also observed via IR spectroscopy upon complexation with the receptor. The thymine adduct, [ZnL(thymine anion)][ClO4]center dot 2H(2)O (C4), has been crystallized and characterized. The X-ray structure of C4 confirmed the thymine binding to the receptor, and the short Zn-N(thymine) distance of 1.975(5) A indicated clearly that the ferrocenyl arm does not affect the complexation of the DNA base. In contrast to the large spectral changes, electrochemical studies showed a small shift of the reversible potential of the redox couple Fc(+)/Fc (Fc = ferrocene) and subtle changes in voltammetry upon the addition of an excess of dT, TMP2-, and guanine (dG) at physiological pH, indicating the level of interaction is similar in both Fc and Fc(+) forms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1665 - 1674
Number of pages10
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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