A Purine-like Nickel(II) Base Pair for DNA


  • This work was supported by DOD/DARPA/DMEA under award no. DMEA90-02-2-0216 and the NASA exobiology program under award no. NAG5-9812.


original image

Metal in the middle: A metallo base pair incorporating 6-pyridylpurine (Purp) was synthesized and characterized. PurP binds nickel(II) preferentially over other divalent ions and yields a base pair that is more stable than natural Watson–Crick pairs with high mismatch selectivity. Computational studies support a dimensional resemblance between PurP⋅Ni2+⋅PurP (see structure) and natural base pairs.