Metal-Modified Bases

Metal-Modified Nucleic Acids


Nucleic acids are becoming more and more important as programmable building blocks in the bottom-up approach. This is in particular true for nucleic acids that are specifically functionalized by metal ions as these could overcome the lack of sufficient conductivity of natural nucleic acids.

Metal-mediated base pairs are usually generated by the incorporation of metal ions between two appropriate natural mismatched nucleobases (e.g. C-C, T-T and U-U) or artificial nucleobases. This approach is a powerful tool to incorporate metal ions in a defined fashion along the axis of nucleic acid helices. The site-specific incorporation is necessary for potential applications such as metal ion sensors, nanomagnets, molecular wires or the usage in the catalysis of enantioselective reactions.

Our project deals with the structural characterization of such molecules by NMR spectroscopy on the one hand and the characterization of the electron charge transfer by luminescence quenching experiments on the other.[2]


[1] Silke Johannsen, Susann Paulus, Nicole Düpre, Jens Müller*, Roland K. O. Sigel*, J. Inorg. Biochem., 2008, 102, 1141-1151.

[2] Silke Johannsen, Nicole Megger, Dominik Böhme, Roland K. O. Sigel*, Jens Müller*, Nature Chem., 2010, 2, 229-234.

[3] Sadhana Kumbhar, Silke Johannsen, Roland K. O. Sigel*, Mark P. Waller*, Jens Müller*, J. Inorg. Biochem., 2013, 127, 203-210.