Theoretical calculation of the NMR spin-spin coupling constants and the NMR shifts allow distinguishability between the specific direct and the water-mediated binding of a divalent metal cation to guanine
The calculated intermolecular and intramolecular indirect NMR spin-spin coupling constants and NMR shifts were used for the discrimination between the inner-shell and the outer-shell binding motif of hydrated divalent cations Mg2+ or Zn2+ with a guanine base. The intermolecular coupling constants (1)J(X, O6) and (1)J(X, N7) (X = Mg2+, Zn2+) can be unambiguously assigned to the specific inner-shell binding motif of the hydrated cation either with oxygen O6 or with nitrogen N7 of guanine. The calculated coupling constants (1)J(Mg, O6) and (1)J(Zn, O6) were 6.2 and -17.5 Hz, respectively, for the inner-shell complex of cation directly interacting with oxygen O6 of guanine. For the inner-shell coordination of the cation at nitrogen N7 the calculated coupling constants (1)J(Mg,N7) and (1)J(Zn,N7) were 5.6 and -36.5 Hz, respectively. When the binding of the cation is water-mediated, the coupling constant is zero. To obtain reliable shifts in NMR parameters, hydrated guanine was utilized as the reference state. The calculated change of NMR spin-spin coupling constants due to the hydration and coordination of the cation with guanine is caused mainly by the variation of Fermi-contact coupling contribution while the variation of diamagnetic spin-orbit, paramagnetic spin-orbit, and spin-dipolar coupling contributions is small. The change of s-character of guanine sigma bonding, sigma antibonding, and lone pair orbitals upon the hydration and cation coordination (calculated using the Natural Bond Orbital analysis) correlates with the variation of the Fermi-contact term. The calculated NMR shifts delta(N7) of -15.3 and -12.2 ppm upon the coordination of Mg2+ and Zn2+ ion are similar to the NMR shift of 19.6 ppm toward the high field measured by Tanaka for N7 of guanine upon the coordination of the Cd2+ cation (Tanaka, Y.; Kojima, C.; Morita, E. H.; Kasai. Y.; Yamasaki, K.; Ono, A.; Kainosho, M.; Taira, K. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2002, 124, 4595-4601). The present data indicate that measurements of NMR intermolecular coupling constants may be used to discriminate between the specific inner- and outer-shell binding of divalent cations to nucleobases in DNA and RNA.