- Protonation preferentially stabilizes minor tautomers of the halouracils: IRMPD action spectroscopy and theoretical studies
- Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
- Volume | Issue number
- 23 | 9
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS)
Tautomerization induced by protonation of halouracils may increase their efficacy as anti-cancer drugs by altering their reactivity and hydrogen bonding characteristics, potentially inducing errors during DNA and RNA replication. The gas-phase structures of protonated complexes of five halouracils, including 5-fluorouracil, 5-chlorouracil, 5-bromouracil, 5-iodouracil, and 6-chlorouracil are examined via infrared multiple photon dissociation (IRMPD) action spectroscopy and theoretical electronic structure calculations. IRMPD action spectra were measured for each complex in the IR fingerprint region extending from ~1000 to 1900 cm-1 using the free electron laser (FELIX). Correlations are made between the measured IRMPD action spectra and the linear IR spectra for the stable low-energy tautomeric conformations computed at the B3LYP/6-311+G(2d,2p)//B3LYP/6-31G* level of theory. Absence of an intense band(s) in the IRMPD spectrum arising from the carbonyl stretch(es) that are expected to appear near 1825 cm-1 provides evidence that protonation induces tautomerization and preferentially stabilizes alternative, noncanonical tautomers of these halouracils where both keto functionalities are converted to hydroxyl groups upon binding of a proton. The weak, but measurable absorption, which does occur for these systems near 1835 cm-1 suggests that in addition to the ground-state conformer, very minor populations of excited, low-energy conformers that contain keto functionalities are also present in these experiments.
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