A Discrete Self-Assembled Metal Array in Artificial DNA

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Science  21 Feb 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5610, pp. 1212-1213
DOI: 10.1126/science.1080587

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DNA has a structural basis to array functionalized building blocks. Here we report the synthesis of a series of artificial oligonucleotides, d(5′-GH nC-3′) (n = 1 to 5), with hydroxypyridone nucleobases (H) as flat bidentate ligands. Right-handed double helices of the oligonucleotides,nCu2+·d(5′-GH nC-3′)2(n = 1 to 5), were quantitatively formed through copper ion (Cu2+)–mediated alternative base pairing (H-Cu2+-H), where the Cu2+ ions incorporated into each complex were aligned along the helix axes inside the duplexes with the Cu2+-Cu2+ distance of 3.7 ± 0.1 angstroms. The Cu2+ ions were coupled ferromagnetically with one another through unpaired d electrons to form magnetic chains.

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