Quantum chemical characterization of the reactions of guanine with the phenylnitrenium ion

J. M. Parks, G. P. Ford, C. J. Cramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Density functional calculations at the B3LYP/6-311+G(2d,p)//pBP/DN* level predict all cationic adducts combining guanine, at either its N2, O6, N7, or C8 positions, with phenylnitrenium ion, at either its N, 2, or 4 positions, to be lower in energy than the separated reactants. This relative stability of all adducts is preserved after addition of aqueous solvation free energies computed at the SM2 level, although some leveling of the adduct relative energies one to another is predicted. Cations having the lowest relative energies in solution correspond structurally to those adducts most commonly found when guanine reacts with larger, biologically relevant nitrenium ions in vitro and in vivo. One of these, the N-C8 adduct, is stabilized both by a rearomatized phenyl ring and by the operation of an anomeric effect not found in any of the others. On the basis of energetic analysis, direct conversion of an N-N7 cation to an N-C8 cation according to a previously proposed mechanism is unlikely; however, an alternative rearrangement converting a 2-N7 cation to an N-C8 cation via the intermediacy of a five-membered ring may be operative in nitrenium ions with aromatic frameworks better able than phenyl to stabilize endocyclic cationic charge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8997-9004
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Organic Chemistry
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 28 2001
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantum chemical characterization of the reactions of guanine with the phenylnitrenium ion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this