A computational study of intercalation of streptozotocin (STZ) into DNA base pairs

J Mol Model. 2021 Feb 9;27(3):78. doi: 10.1007/s00894-020-04620-0.


Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) drug intercalation is a well-known phenomenon for the treatment of cancer. Streptozotocin (STZ) is a drug agent containing toxic properties that make it good in the pancreatic cancer. The main objective of this study is the intercalation of the anticancer drug into the stacked base pair of DNA sequence with ATGC using a density functional theory (DFT) code named as ADF-Molecule. ADF code implements DFT using the Slater-type orbitals (STO) for computational analysis of atomic and molecular structures. All the calculations were carried out with the GGA and hybrid exchange correlation functional with TZ2P basis sets. It was captivatingly studied that during the intercalation process, the bonds between the DNA base pairs broken. Moreover, during the process of intercalation, the free radicals are considered responsible for disturbance in the base configurations. It was determined that the disturbances that occurred in the base pairs lead to discontinuity in the replication of that particular sequence in the DNA strand.

Keywords: ADF; Base pair; DFT; DNA; Optimization.

MeSH terms

  • Base Pairing*
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • Density Functional Theory
  • Intercalating Agents / chemistry*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Structure
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Streptozocin / chemistry*


  • Intercalating Agents
  • Streptozocin
  • DNA