Intercalation of bulky Δ,Δ- and Λ,Λ-bis-Ru(II) complex between DNA base pairs

Yoon Jung Jang, Byung Hyang Kwon, Byung Hoon Choi, Chang Hwan Bae, Mi Sook Seo, Wonwoo Nam, Seog K. Kim

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14 Scopus citations


Interaction of Δ,Δ- and Λ,Λ-bis-Ru(II) complexes with native DNA was investigated by isotropic absorption and polarized spectroscopy including circular and linear dichroism (CD and LD). Despite the steric hindrance originating from its four bulky phenanthroline ligands at both ends of the molecule, this molecule rapidly intercalates between DNA base pairs. Intercalation was judged by large hypochromism and red shift in the UV-visible absorption spectra in the absorption region of the bridging moiety as well as in the metal-to-ligand-charge transfer absorption region. Further support for the intercalation is found in the fact that the magnitude of negative reduced LD signal in the absorption region of the bridging moiety was comparable to that of the DNA absorption region, indicating that the bridge connecting the two Ru(II) complexes is nearly parallel to the DNA base planes. No difference in the binding mode between the two enantiomers was observed. In the presence of either bis-Ru(II) complex, ethidium bromide, a classical intercalator, can intercalate into the empty sites but was not able to replace the Ru(II) complexes. Near the saturation, ground state interaction between ethidium and bis-Ru(II) complex was evident by LD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1885-1891
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Inorganic Biochemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (Grant No. R01-2005-000-10490-0).


  • Circular dichroism
  • DNA
  • Intercalation
  • Linear dichroism
  • Metal complex
  • Ru(II) complex


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