Applications of 2D-IR spectroscopy to probe the structural dynamics of DNA

Gordon Robert Hithell, Lennart A. I. Ramakers, Glenn A. Burley, Neil T. Hunt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Ultrafast two-dimensional infrared (2D-IR) spectroscopy is a powerful probe of the structural and vibrational dynamics of proteins and enzymes in the solution phase. Until recently, relatively few applications of 2D-IR to DNA had been reported, but this is beginning to change rapidly, showing that the vibrational modes of DNA are sensitive reporters of base-pairing and stacking and allowing site-specific probing of the nature of the complex interactions of the DNA macromolecule with its solvent environment. Most recently, 2D-IR spectroscopy has been used to probe the minor-groove ligand binding mechanism and reveal the melting of double stranded DNA in real time, offering the potential for 2D-IR to provide mechanistic insight into the behaviour of this most fundamental of biological molecules in the solution phase. The experimental methods used to obtain 2D-IR spectra are first described along with a discussion of the 2D-IR spectral features relevant to DNA studies before a review of the current state of the art of 2D-IR spectroscopy applications to DNA is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrontiers and Advances in Molecular Spectroscopy
EditorsJaan Laane
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherElsevier Science
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9780128112205
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2017


  • IR spectroscopy
  • DNA
  • DNA structure

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