Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation is an epigenetic phenomenon, which adds methyl groups into DNA. This study reveals methylation of a nucleoside antibiotic drug 1-(β-D-ribofuranosyl)-2-pyrimidinone (zebularine or zeb) with respect to its methylated analog, 1-(β-D-ribofuranosyl)-5-methyl-2-pyrimidinone (d5) using density functional theory calculations in valence electronic space. Very similar infrared spectra suggest that zeb and d5 do not differ by types of the chemical bonds, but distinctly different Raman spectra of the nucleoside pair reveal that the impact caused by methylation of zeb can be significant. Further valence orbital-based information details on valence electronic structural changes caused by methylation of zebularine. Frontier orbitals in momentum space and position space of the molecules respond differently to methylation. Based on the additional methyl electron density concentration in d5, orbitals affected by the methyl moiety are classified into primary and secondary contributors. Primary methyl contributions include MO8 (57a), MO18 (47a), and MO37 (28a) of d5, which concentrates on methyl and the base moieties, suggest certain connection to their Frontier orbitals. The primary and secondary methyl affected orbitals provide useful information on chemical bonding mechanism of the methylation in zebularine. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Comput Chem, 2011
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