Modelling One-Electron Oxidation Potentials and Hole Delocalization in Double-Stranded DNA by Multilayer and Dynamic Approaches

29 March 2024, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The amount of innovative applications for DNA nowadays is growing quickly. Its use as a nanowire or electrochemical biosensor leads to the need for a deep understanding of the charge transfer process along the strand, as well as its redox properties. These features are computationally simulated and analyzed in detail throughout this work by combining molecular dynamics, multilayer schemes and the Marcus theory. The one-electron oxidation potential and the hole delocalization have been analyzed for six DNA double strands that cover all possible binary combinations of nucleotides. The results have revealed that the one-electron oxidation potential decreases with respect to the single-stranded DNA, giving evidence that the greater rigidity of a double helix induces an increase in the capacity of storing the positive charge generated upon oxidation. In addition, the hole is mainly stored in nucleobases with large reducer character, i.e., purines, especially when those are arranged in a stacked configuration in the same strand. From the computational point of view, the sampling needed to describe biological systems implies a significant computational cost. Here, we show that a small number of representative conformations generated by a clustering analysis provides accurate results when compared with those obtained from the sampling, reducing considerably the computational cost.


One-electron oxidation potential
Double Stranded DNA
Multilayer QM/classical approaches
Molecular Dynamics
Marcus Theory


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