Photophysics and X-ray structure of crystalline 2-aminopurine

Robert K Neely, Steven W Magennis, Simon Parsons, Anita C Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


To explore the effect of intermolecular interactions on the photophysics of 2-aminopurine (2AP) in a well-defined environment, we have investigated the fluorescence properties of single 2AP crystals, having determined their X-ray structure. In the crystal, 2AP is subject to base-stacking and hydrogen-bonding interactions similar to those found in DNA. The crystal shows dual fluorescence: pi-stacked molecules in the bulk of the lattice have redshifted excitation and emission spectra, while molecules at defect sites have spectra similar to those of 2AP in solution or in DNA. Heterogeneous intermolecular interactions in the crystal give rise to multiexponential fluorescence decay characteristics similar to those observed for 2AP-labelled DNA. The presence of about 13 % of the 7H tautomer in the crystal confirms that 9H-7H tautomerisation of 2AP occurs in the ground state. Long-wavelength excitation of a 2AP-labelled oligonucleotide duplex produced redshifted emission similar to that observed in the crystal, indicating that pi-stacking interaction of 2AP with nucleobases gives rise to a low energy excited state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1095-102
Number of pages8
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2007


  • 2-Aminopurine
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • DNA
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Structure
  • Photochemistry
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic
  • Time Factors


Dive into the research topics of 'Photophysics and X-ray structure of crystalline 2-aminopurine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this