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The DNA binding of a dicationic pyridylimine-based dicopper(I) metallosupramolecular cylinder is reported together with its ability to act as an artificial nuclease. The cylinder binds strongly to DNA; more strongly than the spherical dication [Ru(phen)(3)](2+) (phen=1,10-phenanthroline), but more weakly than the corresponding tetracationic cylinders. DNA coiling effects are not observed with this dication, in contrast to the situation with the previously reported tetracationic cylinder involving a similar ligand. Linear dichroism (LD) data suggests that the dicopper cylinder binds in a different orientation from that of the tetracationic iron cylinder. Furthermore, the dicopper cylinder shows DNA-cleavage activity in the presence of peroxide. Of particular note is that the cylinder displays a marked and unusual ability to cleave both DNA strands at the same site, probably reflecting its dinuclear nature and possibly its mode of binding to the DNA.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





4919 - 4927


Copper, DNA, DNA Cleavage, Deoxyribonucleases, Organometallic Compounds, Pyridines