One- and two-dimensional 400-MHz proton NMR experiments are used to examine the solution structure of the covalent adduct formed by the interaction of anthramycin methyl ether with the self-complementary deoxyoligonucleotide d(ATGCAT)2. The concentration dependence of chemical shifts and nuclear Overhauser enhancement (NOE) experiments are utilized to assign the adenine H2 protons within the minor groove for both free d(ATGCAT)2 and the adduct. These studies demonstrate that one of the four adenine H2 protons is in close proximity to the bound anthramycin and this results in its upfield shift of 0.3 ppm compared to the adenine H2 protons of the free duplex. Effects of the covalent attachment of anthramycin to the d(ATGCAT)2 duplex result in an increased shielding of selected deoxyribose protons located within the minor groove of the adduct, as demonstrated by two-dimensional autocorrelated (COSY) NMR techniques. Interactions between the protons of the covalently attached anthramycin and the d-(ATGCAT)2 duplex are determined by utilizing two-dimensional NOE (NOESY) techniques. Analysis of these data reveals NOE cross-peaks between the anthramycin methyl, H6, and H7 protons with specific deoxyoligonucleotide protons within the minor groove, thus allowing the orientation of the drug within the minor groove to be determined. Nonselective inversion recovery (T1) relaxation experiments are used to probe the structural and dynamic properties of the anthramycin-d(ATGCAT)2 adduct. These data suggest that the binding of anthramycin alters the correlation time of the d(ATGCAT)2 duplex and stabilizes both of the internal A·T base pairs with respect to solvent exchange. The solution conformation of the an-thramycin-d(ATGCAT)2 adduct, as deduced from the NMR data, is in agreement with model-building studies [Hurley, L. H., & Petrusek, R. L. (1979) Nature (London) 282, 529-531; Petrusek, R. L., Anderson, G. L., Garner, T. F., Fannin, Q. L., Kaplan, D. J., Zimmer, S. G., & Hurley, L. H. (1981) Biochemistry 20, 1111-1119]. © 1985, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.