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Spin effects govern DNA/RNA nucleotide polymerization

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DOI: 10.4236/jbpc.2011.23034    6,946 Downloads   11,864 Views   Citations


A new radical mechanism of nucleotide polymerization is found. The finding is based on the Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics computations at 310 K with an additional spin-spin coupling term for 31P and 1H atoms and a radical pair spin term included. The mechanism is initiated by a creation of a high-energy spin-separated Mg-ATP complex in a triplet state in which the Mg prefers an uncommon chelation to the O2-O3 oxygens of the ATP. The cleavage of the complex produces the .AMP- and .O- radicals. The latter captures a proton from acidic solution (the Zundel cation) that converts it into the .OH radical. The process agrees with the protoncoupled electron transfer (PCET) mechanism. Through interacting with the HO-C3' group of the deoxyribose/ribose the .OH radical captures its hydrogen atom. The process is accompanied by producing water and the .AMP radical. The .AMP- and .AMP radicals then interact yielding a dimer. The described mechanism is easily generalized for a bigger number of adjoining nucleotides and their type. The radical mechanism is highly sensitive to the .AMP-..OH radical pair spin symmetry and the radius of the .OH diffusion. This confines the operation of the radical mechanism: it is applicable to nucleotide polymerization through the HO-C3’ group of deoxyribose/ribose (DNA/RNA polymerization) and inapplicable through the HO-C2’ group of ribose (RNA) . a result that nature has developed over evolution.

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Tulub, A. (2011) Spin effects govern DNA/RNA nucleotide polymerization. Journal of Biophysical Chemistry, 2, 300-309. doi: 10.4236/jbpc.2011.23034.


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