Unprecedented head-to-head right-handed cross-links between the antitumor bis(mu-N,N'-di-p-tolylformamidinate) dirhodium(II,II) core and the dinucleotide d(ApA) with the adenine bases in the rare imino form. Academic Article uri icon


  • Reactions of the anticancer active compound cis-[Rh2(DTolF)2(CH3CN)6](BF4)2 with 9-ethyladenine (9-EtAdeH) or the dinucleotide d(ApA) proceed with bridging adenine bases in the rare imino form (A*), spanning the Rh-Rh bond at equatorial positions via N7/N6. The inflection points for the pH-dependent H2 and H8 NMR resonance curves of cis-[Rh2(DTolF)2(9-EtAdeH)2](BF4)2 correspond to N1H deprotonation of the metal-stabilized rare imino tautomer, which takes place at pKa approximately 7.5 in CD3CN-d3, a considerably reduced value as compared to that of the imino form of 9-EtAdeH. Similarly, coordination of the metal atoms to the N7/N6 adenine sites in Rh2(DTolF)2{d(ApA)} induces formation of the rare imino tautomer of the bases with a concomitant substantial decrease in the basicity of the N1H sites (pKa approximately 7.0 in CD3CN-d3), as compared to the imino form of the free dinucleotide. The presence of the adenine bases in the rare imino form, due to bidentate metalation of the N6/N7 sites, is further corroborated by DQF-COSY H2/N1H and ROE N1H/N6H cross-peaks in the 2D NMR spectra of Rh2(DTolF)2{d(ApA)} in CD3CN-d3 at -38 degrees C. Due to the N7/N6 bridging mode of the adenine bases in Rh2(DTolF)2{d(ApA)}, only the anti orientation of the imino tautomer is possible. The imino form A* of adenine in DNA may result in AT-->CG transversions or AT-->GC transitions, which can eventually lead to lethal mutations. The HH arrangement of the bases in Rh2(DTolF)2{d(ApA)} is indicated by the H8/H8 NOE cross-peaks in the 2D ROESY NMR spectrum, whereas the formamidinate bridging groups dictate the presence of one right-handed conformer HH1R in solution. Complete characterization of Rh2(DTolF)2{d(ApA)} by 2D NMR spectroscopy and molecular modeling supports the presence of the HH1R conformer, anti orientation of both sugar residues about the glycosyl bonds, and N-type conformation for the 5'-A base.

published proceedings

  • J Am Chem Soc

author list (cited authors)

  • Chifotides, H. T., & Dunbar, K. R.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • Chifotides, Helen T||Dunbar, Kim R

publication date

  • October 2007