The chemical structure of the mercury-mediated T-T pair (T-Hg(I)I-T) was determined with (15)N NMR spectroscopy. In order to determine the chemical structure of the T-Hg(I)I-T pair, (15)N-(15)N J-coupling across a metal center (2JNN) was employed. Notably, this is the first observation of (2)J(NN) in a biological macromolecule (DNA duplex). This pairing mode was found to be a irregular metal ion-binding mode for DNA and RNA molecules, in which imino proton-metal exchange processes are included. Accordingly, (2)J(NN) is highly important for the determination of the chemical structures of metal-mediated base pairs.
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