Applications of 2D-IR spectroscopy to probe the structural dynamics of DNA

Hithell, Gordon Robert and Ramakers, Lennart A. I. and Burley, Glenn A. and Hunt, Neil T. (2017) Applications of 2D-IR spectroscopy to probe the structural dynamics of DNA. In: Frontiers and Advances in Molecular Spectroscopy. Elsevier Science, Amsterdam, pp. 77-100. ISBN 9780128112205

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Abstract

Ultrafast two-dimensional infrared (2D-IR) spectroscopy is a powerful probe of the structural and vibrational dynamics of proteins and enzymes in the solution phase. Until recently, relatively few applications of 2D-IR to DNA had been reported, but this is beginning to change rapidly, showing that the vibrational modes of DNA are sensitive reporters of base-pairing and stacking and allowing site-specific probing of the nature of the complex interactions of the DNA macromolecule with its solvent environment. Most recently, 2D-IR spectroscopy has been used to probe the minor-groove ligand binding mechanism and reveal the melting of double stranded DNA in real time, offering the potential for 2D-IR to provide mechanistic insight into the behaviour of this most fundamental of biological molecules in the solution phase. The experimental methods used to obtain 2D-IR spectra are first described along with a discussion of the 2D-IR spectral features relevant to DNA studies before a review of the current state of the art of 2D-IR spectroscopy applications to DNA is presented.