Probing charge transport in oxidatively damaged DNA sequences under the influence of structural fluctuations
M. H. Lee, G. Brancolini, R. Gutiérrez, R. Di Felice, and G. Cuniberti
Journal of Physical Chemistry B 116, 10977 (2012)
We present a detailed study of the charge transport characteristics of double-stranded DNA oligomers including the oxidative damage 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG). The problem is treated by a hybrid methodology combining classical molecular dynamics simulations and semiempirical electronic structure calculations to formulate a coarse-grained charge transport model. The influence of solvent- and DNA-mediated structural fluctuations is encoded in the obtained time series of the electronic charge transfer parameters. Within the Landauer approach to charge transport, we perform a detailed analysis of the conductance and current time series obtained by sampling the electronic structure along the molecular dynamics trajectory, and find that the inclusion of 8-oxoG damages into the DNA sequence can induce a change in the electrical response of the system. However, solvent-induced fluctuations tend to mask the effect, so that a detection of such sequence modifications via electrical transport measurements in a liquid environment seems to be difficult to achieve.