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Synthesis and Spectroscopy of Ruthenium-Modified Nucleic Acids


Krider, Elizabeth Stratford (2001) Synthesis and Spectroscopy of Ruthenium-Modified Nucleic Acids. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/s0za-ec86.


Redox-active probes are designed and prepared for use in DNA-mediated electron transfer studies. These probes consist of ruthenium(II) complexes bound to nucleosides that possess metal-binding ligands. Low- and high-potential oxidants are synthesized from these modified nucleosides and display reversible one-electron electrochemical behavior. The ruthenium-modified nucleosides exhibit distinct charge-transfer transitions in the visible region that resemble those of appropriate model complexes. Resonance Raman and time-resolved emission spectroscopy are used to characterize the nature of these transitions.

The site-specific incorporation of these redox-active probes into oligonucleotides is explored using post-synthetic modification and solid-phase synthetic methods. The preparation of the metal-binding nucleosides, their incorporation into oligonucleotides, and characterization of the resulting oligonucleotides is described. Because the insertion of these probes into modified oligonucleotides using post-synthetic modification is unsuccessful, solid-phase synthetic methods are explored. These efforts lead to the first report of 3'-metallated oligonucleotides prepared completely by automated solid-phase synthesis. Preliminary efforts to prepare a bis-metallated oligonucleotide by automated synthesis are described.

The electrochemical, absorption, and emissive features of the ruthenium-modified oligonucleotides are unchanged from those of the precursor metallonucleoside. The absence of any change in these properties upon incorporation into oligonucleotides and subsequent hybridization suggests that the incorporated ruthenium(II) complex is a valuable probe for DNA-mediated electron transfer studies.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Chemistry
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemistry
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Gray, Harry B.
Thesis Committee:
  • Rees, Douglas C. (chair)
  • Gray, Harry B.
  • Meade, Thomas J.
  • Richards, John H.
  • Roberts, Richard W.
Defense Date:12 September 2000
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03202014-093625161
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8151
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:20 Mar 2014 16:54
Last Modified:29 Nov 2022 22:04

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