Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research

Southern California Conferences for Undergraduate Research

Investigation of Nucleobase Dimers in the Gas Phase


Mark Hilado, Chris Le


Thomas Morton, Professor of Chemistry, University of California Riverside

This area of research involves the exploration of an organic compound that binds to nucleobases found in DNA. The compound under examination is a dihydroxybenzamidium ion, and its binding properties to nucleobases such as cytosine are the focus of this investigation. This ion can hydrogen bond to cytosine using two points of attachment, just as common nucleobases bind to one another in vivo. Potential derivatives of the dihydroxybenzamidium ion may provide further interest as making it more competitive for binding with other nucleobases. The dimer complex between the dihydroxybenzamidium ion and 1-MethylCytosine has been created in the gas phase, as have a dimer between the dihydroxybenzamidium ion and 5-FluoroMethylCytosine. The dihydroxybenzamidium compound and its derivatives are being synthesized and purified within the laboratory, as are modified cytosines, since they are not commercially available. These compounds, as well as the dimer complexes, are being examined using such techniques as mass spectrometry and "action" spectroscopy. The IR spectra of these two dimers in the gas phase have been obtained. The peaks within the spectra, when compared to the calculated spectra, indicate possibilities of more than one existing isomer within the dimer. Each spectra is being examined in order to determine the optimal binding energies and geometry of each molecule within the bound dimer. The findings from this research serve as potential for possible cancer or DNA research, as a compound such as this could be used as a bind to DNA, acting as a possible repressor or activator to normal processes such as transcription of DNA.

Presented by:

Mark Hilado


Saturday, November 17, 2012




Broome Library

Presentation Type:

Poster Presentation