Conformations of poly{G}-poly{C} π stacks with high hole mobility

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Charge transfer properties of DNA depend strongly on the π stack conformation. In the present paper, we identify conformations of homogeneous poly-{G}-poly-{C} stacks that should exhibit high charge mobility. Two different computational approaches were applied. First, we calculated the electronic coupling squared, V2, between adjacent base pairs for all 1 ps snapshots extracted from 15 ns molecular dynamics trajectory of the duplex G15. The average value of the coupling squared 〈 V2 〉 is found to be 0.0065 eV2. Then we analyze the base-pair and step parameters of the configurations in which V2 is at least an order of magnitude larger than 〈 V2 〉. To obtain more consistent data, ∼65 000 configurations of the (G:C)2 stack were built using systematic screening of the step parameters shift, slide, and twist. We show that undertwisted structures (twist<20°) are of special interest, because the π stack conformations with strong electronic couplings are found for a wide range of slide and shift. Although effective hole transfer can also occur in configurations with twist=30° and 35°, large mutual displacements of neighboring base pairs are required for that. Overtwisted conformation (twist38°) seems to be of limited interest in the context of effective hole transfer. The results may be helpful in the search for DNA based elements for nanoelectronics ​
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