The effects of tautomerization and protonation on the adenine–cytosine mismatches: a density functional theory study

<p>In the present work, we demonstrate the results of a theoretical study concerned with the question how tautomerization and protonation of adenine affect the various properties of adenine–cytosine mismatches. The calculations, in gas phase and in water, are performed at B3LYP/6-311++G(d,p) level. In gas phase, it is observed that any tautomeric form of investigated mismatches is more stabilized when adenine is protonated. As for the neutral mismatches, the mismatches containing amino form of cytosine and imino form of protonated adenine are more stable. The role of aromaticity on the stability of tautomeric forms of mismatches is investigated by NICS(1)<sub>ZZ</sub> index. The stability of mispairs decreases by going from gas phase to water. It can be explained using dipole moment parameter. The influence of hydrogen bonds on the stability of mismatches is examined by atoms in molecules and natural bond orbital analyses. In addition to geometrical parameters and binding energies, the study of the topological properties of electron charge density aids in better understanding of these mispairs.</p>