Oligonucleotides containing the guanine nucleobase were adsorbed onto ITO electrodes from mixtures of DMF and acetate buffer. Chronocoulometry and chronoamperometry were performed on the modified electrodes in both phosphate buffer and buffer containing low concentrations of the inorganic complex Ru(bpy)3(2+) (bpy = 2,2' bipyridine), which catalyzes guanine oxidation. The charge and current evolution with and without the catalyst were compared to the charge and current evolution for electrodes that were treated with identical oligonucleotides that were substituted at every guanine with the electrochemically inert nucleobase hypoxanthine. Chronocoulometry over 2.5 s shows that roughly 2 electrons per guanine were transferred to the electrode in both the presence and absence of Ru(bpy)3(2+), although at a slower rate for the uncatalyzed process. Chronoamperograms measured over 250 ms can be fit to a double exponential decay, with the intensity of the fast component roughly 6-20 times greater than that of the slow component. First- and second-order rate constants for catalytic and direct guanine oxidation were determined from the fast component. The maximum catalytic enhancement for immobilized guanine was found to be i(cat)/i(d) = 4 at 25 microM Ru(bpy)3(2+). The second-order rate constant for the catalyzed reaction was 1.3 x 10(7) M(-1) s(-1), with an apparent dissociation constant of 8.8 microM. When compared to parallel studies in solution, a smaller value of the dissociation constant and a larger value of the second-order rate constant are observed, probably due to distortion of the immobilized DNA, an increase in the local negative charge due to the oxygen sites on the ITO surface, and redox cycling of the catalyst, which maintains the surface concentration of the active form.
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