Beyond A, C, G, and T: augmenting nature’s alphabet

A.A. Henry, F.E. Romesberg, Curr. Opin. Chem. Biol. (2003) 7:727–733.
pubpic2003henryThis review provides a critical comparison of the third base pair candidates and discusses the further work required to expand the genetic alphabet.


The effect of minor-groove hydrogen-bond acceptors and donors on the stability and replication of four unnatural base pairs

S. Matsuda, A.A. Henry, P.G. Schultz, F.E. Romesberg, J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2003) 125:6134-6139.
pubpic2003matsudaWe report the stability and replication of DNA containing self-pairs formed between unnatural nucleotides bearing benzofuran, benzothiophene, indole, and benzotriazole nucleobases.


Flexibility and molecular recognition in the immune system

R. Jimenez, G. Salazar, K.K. Baldridge, F.E. Romesberg, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2003) 100:92–97.
pubpic2003jimenezWe use photon echo spectroscopy to measure the response of three antibody-binding sites to perturbation from electronic excitation of a bound antigen, fluorescein. The three antibodies show motions that range in time scale from tens of femtoseconds to nanoseconds. This work was featured on the cover.


Femtosecond fluorescence upconversion studies of excited-state proton-transfer dynamics in 2-(2 ‘-hydroxyphenyl)benzoxazole (HBO) in liquid solution and DNA

H. Wang, H. Zhang, O.K. Abou-Zied, C. Yu, F.E. Romesberg, M. Glasbeek, Chem. Phys. Lett. (2003) 367:599–608.
pubpic200wangWe find that the typical time for the excited-state intramolecular proton-transfer reaction of the syn-enol tautomer in solution and in DNA is 150 fs. Picosecond rise and decay components in the fluorescence transients with characteristic times between 3 and 25 ps are observed and attributed to the effects of vibrational cooling.