Development of ruthenium probes designed to bind enantio- and stereospecifically to DNA

RS Vagg*, KA Vickery, PA Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


In the past decade, substitutionally-inert chiral ruthenium complexes have found valuable use as metalloprobes for the determination of causal factors governing smallmolecule recognition by DNA. Considerable work has derived from the initial reports of enantioselectivity observed between the Δ- and Λ-[Ru(phen)3]2+ ions and DNA [1–3], where it was concluded that the ght-handed (Δ) propeller form binds preferentially. The binding mode originally was depicted by one of the phen ligands stacking, or intercalating into DNA, with the remaining two making van der Waals contacts with the surface of the helical groove [2]. It was proposed that this enantiopreference arises from steric clashes that exist between the two external phen blades of the Λ-isomer and the ribo-phosphate backbone of the duplex. However, the structural basis for these effects remained uncertain and in order to investigate this, subsequent studies have led to the use of analogues of general form [Ru(L)2(L’)]2+, where L is 1,10-phenanthroline (phen) or 2,2’-bipyridine (bipy) and L’ is a planar bidentate with an enhanced aromatic surface area. The latter component serves as the intercalating chromophore and hence determines overall molecular binding affinity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMolecular Recognition and Inclusion
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Ninth International Symposium on Molecular Recognition and Inclusion, held at Lyon, 7–12 September 1996
EditorsAW Coleman
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9789401152884
ISBN (Print)9789401062268
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Event9th International Symposium on Molecular Recognition and Inclusion (ISMRI 9) - LYON, France
Duration: 7 Sep 199612 Sep 1996


Conference9th International Symposium on Molecular Recognition and Inclusion (ISMRI 9)



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