Interaction between the heme and a G-quartet in a heme-DNA complex

Kaori Saito, Hulin Tai, Hikaru Hemmi, Nagao Kobayashi, Yasuhiko Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The structure of a complex between heme(Fe3+) and a parallel G-quadruplex DNA formed from a single repeat sequence of the human telomere, d(TTAGGG), has been characterized by 1H NMR. The study demonstrated that the heme(Fe3+) is sandwiched between the 3′-terminal G-quartets of the G-quadruplex DNA. Hence, the net +1 charge of the heme(Fe 3+) in the complex is surrounded by the eight carbonyl oxygen atoms of the G-quartets. Interaction between the heme Fe3+ and G-quartets in the complex was clearly manifested in the solvent 1H/2H isotope effect on the NMR parameters of paramagnetically shifted heme methyl proton signals, and interaction of the heme Fe3+ with the eight carbonyl oxygen atoms of the two G-quartets was shown to provide a strong and axially symmetric ligand field surrounding the heme Fe3+, yielding a heme(Fe3+) low-spin species with a highly symmetric heme electronic structure. This finding provides new insights as to the design of the molecular architecture and functional properties of various heme-DNA complexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8168-8176
Number of pages9
JournalInorganic chemistry
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug 6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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