Time delay during the proton tunneling in the base pairs of the DNA double helix
Çelebi, Gizem and Özçelik, Elif and Vardar, Emre and Demir, Durmuş Ali (2021) Time delay during the proton tunneling in the base pairs of the DNA double helix. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology . ISSN 0079-6107 (Print) 1873-1732 (Online) Published Online First http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2021.06.001
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2021.06.001
DNA undergoes spontaneous point mutations, which are believed to be central to the evolution of the organisms and which are thought to occur by tautomerization of the canonical Guanine-Cytosine (G-C) base pair into non-canonical G*-C* base pair via the double proton tunneling. In the present work, we close a gap in the literature by computing the time delay during the proton tunneling. Our results, based on the well-known dwell time and our model of the entropic time, range from femtoseconds to pico-seconds, and completely agree with the time scales of the structural changes in molecules (mutation processes not the complete replication processes). The tunneling delay times are thus nonnegligible and imply that the DNA mutations can be resolved using the attosecond laser technology, if not the femtosecond technology. Our results can be relevant also for other tunneling-enabled biological processes.
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