The interaction of transition metal complexes of cationic porphyrins bearing five membered rings, meso-tetrakis(1,2-dimethylpyrazolium-4-yl)porphyrin (MPzP, M=MnIII, NiII, CuII or ZnII), with calf thymus DNA (ctDNA) has been studied. Metalloporphyrins NiPzP and CuPzP are intercalated into the 5′GC3′ step of ctDNA. MnPzP is bound edge-on at the 5′TA3′ step of the minor groove of ctDNA, while ZnPzP is bound face-on at the 5′TA3′ step of the major groove of ctDNA. The binding constants of the metalloporphyrins to ctDNA range from 1.05×105 to 2.66×106 M-1 and are comparable to those of other reported cationic porphyrins. The binding process of the metallopyrazoliumylporphyrins to ctDNA is endothermic and entropically driven. These results have revealed that the kind of central metal ions of metalloporphyrins influences the binding characteristics of the porphyrin to DNA.
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