A DNA-binding copper(I) metallosupramolecular cylinder that acts as an artificial nuclease

Laura J. Childs, Jaroslav Malina, Britt Elin Rolfsnes, Mirela Pascu, Maria J. Prieto, Mark J. Broome, P. Mark Rodger, Einar Sletten, Virtudes Moreno*, Alison Rodger, Michael J. Hannon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


The DNA binding of a dicationic pyridylimine-based dicopper(I) metallosupramolecular cylinder is reported together with its ability to act as an artificial nuclease. The cylinder binds strongly to DNA; more strongly than the spherical dication [Ru-(phen)3]2+ (phen = 1,10-phenanthroline), but more weakly than the corresponding tetracationic cylinders. DNA coiling effects are not observed with this dication, in contrast to the situation with the previously reported tetracationic cylinder involving a similar ligand. Linear dichroism (LD) data suggests that the dicopper cylinder binds in a different orientation from that of the tetracationic iron cylinder. Furthermore, the dicopper cylinder shows DNA-cleavage activity in the presence of peroxide. Of particular note is that the cylinder displays a marked and unusual ability to cleave both DNA strands at the same site, probably reflecting its dinuclear nature and possibly its mode of binding to the DNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4919-4927
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial nucleases
  • Bioinorganic chemistry
  • Copper
  • DNA cleavage
  • Supramolecular chemistry


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