Transformation of terahertz vibrational modes of cytosine under hydration

Donggun Lee, Hwayeong Cheon, Seo Yeon Jeong, Joo Hiuk Son

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Cytosine and cytosine monohydrate are representative biomolecules for investigating the effect of hydrogen bonds in deoxyribonucleic acid. To better understand intermolecular interactions, such as hydrogen bonds, between nucleobases it is necessary to identify the low-frequency vibrational modes associated with intermolecular interactions and crystalline structures. In this study, we investigated the characteristic low-frequency vibrational modes of cytosine and cytosine monohydrate using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS). The crystal geometry was obtained by the powder X-ray diffraction technique. The optimized atomic positions and the normal modes in the terahertz region were calculated using density functional theory (DFT), which agreed well with the experimental results. We found that overall terahertz absorption peaks of cytosine and cytosine monohydrate consist of collective vibrations mixed with intermolecular and intramolecular vibrations in mode character analysis, and that the most intense peaks of both samples involve remarkable intermolecular translational vibration. These results indicate that THz-TDS combined with DFT calculations including mode character analysis can be an effective method for understanding how water molecules contribute to the characteristics of the low-frequency vibrational modes by intermolecular vibrations with hydrogen bonding in biological and biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10271
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020


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