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The Electrostatic Molecular Potential of the Nucleic Acids

  • Alberte Pullman
  • Bernard Pullman

Abstract

One of the major advantages of the electrostatic molecular potential1,2 is to be a characteristic of the global, overall molecular reality, closely related to what a reactant “feels” upon approaching the substrate, at least to what it feels at not too close a distance. The concept is useful for any type of molecules, but its major significance may possibly reside in the field of huge polymers and, in particular, of biopolymers, for which the understanding of the role of the overall macromolecular structure upon the reactivity of their reaction sites represents one of the fundamental problems that faces both experimentalists and theoreticians. Truly the concept of the electrostatic molecular potential of a biopolymer, protein or nucleic acid, can only give a partial indication to the solution of this problem. The total interaction energy between two species, as analyzable by appropriate quantum-mechanical procedures, is composed of at least four essential components: the electrostatic, the polarization, the charge transfer and the exchange repulsion contributions (see e.g., references 38). There is also the role of the solvent and of the reactive partner to be considered. Nevertheless, the fundamental importance of the electrostatic factor can hardly be questioned, especially in the particular case where the interactions involve ionic species, and it seems therefore useful to investigate to what an extent is this factor able to account for some of the characteristic features of the reactivity of the biopolymers and their constituents. Following the indications of such a preliminary treatment an attempt may then be made to explain the unaccounted features by taking into consideration the complementary factors, operating at shorter distances, involved in the interaction.

Keywords

Minor Groove Electrostatic Molecular Potential Potential Minimum Major Groove Multipole Expansion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberte Pullman
    • 1
  • Bernard Pullman
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut de Biologie Physico-ChimiqueLaboratoire de Biochimie Théorique associé au C.N.R.S.ParisFrance

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