Orbital based electronic structural signatures of the guanine keto G-7H/G-9H tautomer pair as studied using dual space analysis Academic Article uri icon


  • Electronic structural signatures of the guanine-7H and guanine-9H tautomers have been investigated on an orbital by orbital basis using dual space analysis. A combination of density functional theory (B3LYP/TZVP), the statistical average of model orbital potentials (SAOP/TZ2P) method and outer valence Green's function theory (OVGF/TZVP) has been used to generate optimal tautomer geometries and accurate ionization energy spectra for the guanine tautomer pair. The present work found that the non-planar form for both of the guanine keto pair possesses lower energies than their corresponding planar counterparts, and that the canonical form of the guanine-7H tautomer has slightly lower total energy than guanine-9H. This latter result is in agreement with previous experimental and theoretical findings. In the planar guanine pair the geometric parameters and anisotropic molecular properties are compared, focusing on changes caused by the mobile proton transfer. It is demonstrated that the mobile proton only causes limited disturbance to isotropic properties, such as geometry and the energetics, of the guanine keto tautomer pair. The exception to this general statement is for related local changes such as the N((7))-C((8)) and C((8))-N((9)) bond length resonance between the single and double bonds, reflecting the nitrogen atom being bonded with the mobile proton in the tautomers. The mobile proton distorts the electron distribution of the tautomers, which leads to significant changes in the molecular anisotropic properties. The dipole moment of guanine-7H is altered by about a factor of three, from 2.23 to 7.05 D (guanine-9H), and the molecular electrostatic potentials also reflect significant electron charge distortion. The outer valence orbital momentum distributions, which were obtained using the plane wave impulse approximation (PWIA), have demonstrated quantitatively that the outer valence orbitals of the tautomer pair can be divided into three groups. That is orbitals 1a''-7a'' and 18a', which do not have visible alternations in the tautomeric process (which consist of either pi orbitals or are close to the inner valence shell); a second group comprising orbitals 19a'-22a', 25a', 26a', 28a', 29a' and 31a', which show small perturbations as a result of the mobile hydrogen locations; and group three, orbitals 23a', 24a', 27a', 30a' and 32a', which demonstrate significant changes due to the mobile proton transfer and are therefore considered as signature orbitals of the G-7H/G-9H keto tautomeric process.

publication date

  • May 2006