4-picoline-2,2′: 6′,2″-terpyridine-platinum(II) - A potent intercalator of DNA

Angela McCoubrey, Harriet C. Latham, Peter R. Cook, Alison Rodger, Gordon Lowe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


4-Picoline-2,2′:6′,2″-terpyridine-platinum(II) is shown in a ligation assay to unwind and so intercalate into DNA. Circular dichroism is used to determine an equilibrium binding constant of approximately 2 × 107 M-1 for the most stable binding mode of 4-picoline-2,2′:6′,2″-terpyridine-platinum(II) to poly[d(A-T)2] with a site size of about 4 base pairs, and about 1 × 106 M-1 for a second binding mode with a site size of about 2 base pairs. Fluorescence spectroscopy provides further evidence for the strong equilibrium binding constant of 4-picoline-2,2′:6′,2″-terpyridine-platinum(II) in that it displaces ethidium bromide bound to DNA. The double positive charge on 4-picoline-2,2′:6′,2″-terpyridine-platinum(II), together with the intercalative binding mode is probably responsible for the large binding constant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-78
Number of pages6
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Circular dichroism
  • DNA ligation
  • Fluorescence spectroscopy


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