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Probing the conformational landscape and thermochemistry of DNA dinucleotide anions via helium nanodroplet infrared action spectroscopy

MPS-Authors
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Thomas,  Daniel
Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Chang,  Rayoon
Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;
Institut für Chemie und Biochemie, Freie Universität Berlin;

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Mucha,  Eike
Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Lettow,  Maike
Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;
Institut für Chemie und Biochemie, Freie Universität Berlin;

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Greis,  Kim
Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;
Institut für Chemie und Biochemie, Freie Universität Berlin;

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Gewinner,  Sandy
Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Schöllkopf,  Wieland
Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Meijer,  Gerard
Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Helden,  Gert von
Molecular Physics, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Thomas, D., Chang, R., Mucha, E., Lettow, M., Greis, K., Gewinner, S., et al. (2020). Probing the conformational landscape and thermochemistry of DNA dinucleotide anions via helium nanodroplet infrared action spectroscopy. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 22(33), 18400-18413. doi:/10.1039/D0CP02482A.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-D1BD-9
Abstract
Isolation of biomolecules in vacuum facilitates characterization of the intramolecular interactions that determine three-dimensional structure, but experimental quantification of conformer thermochemistry remains challenging. Infrared spectroscopy of molecules trapped in helium nanodroplets is a promising methodology for the measurement of thermochemical parameters. When molecules are captured in a helium nanodroplet, the rate of cooling to an equilibrium temperature of ca. 0.4 K is generally faster than the rate of isomerization, resulting in “shock-freezing” that kinetically traps molecules in local conformational minima. This unique property enables the study of temperature-dependent conformational equilibria via infrared spectroscopy at 0.4 K, thereby avoiding the deleterious effects of spectral broadening at higher temperatures. Herein, we demonstrate the first application of this approach to ionic species by coupling electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI–MS) with helium nanodroplet infrared action spectroscopy to probe the structure and thermochemistry of deprotonated DNA dinucleotides. Dinucleotide anions were generated by ESI, confined in an ion trap at temperatures between 90 and 350 K, and entrained in traversing helium nanodroplets. The infrared action spectra of the entrained ions show a strong dependence on pre-pickup ion temperature, consistent with the preservation of conformer population upon cooling to 0.4 K. Non-negative matrix factorization was utilized to identify component conformer infrared spectra and determine temperature-dependent conformer populations. Relative enthalpies and entropies of conformers were subsequently obtained from a van ’t Hoff analysis. IR spectra and conformer thermochemistry are compared to results from ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) and electronic structure methods. The implementation of ESI–MS as a source of dopant molecules expands the diversity of molecules accessible for thermochemical measurements, enabling the study of larger, non-volatile species.