Tautomeric transitions of DNA bases are proton transfer reactions, which are important in biology. These reactions are involved in spontaneous point mutations of the genetic material. In the present study, intrinsic reaction coordinates (IRC) analyses through ab initio quantum chemical calculations have been carried out for the individual DNA bases A, T, G, C and also A:T and G:C base pairs to estimate the kinetic and thermodynamic barriers using MP2/6-31G** method for tautomeric transitions. Relatively higher values of kinetic barriers (about 50-60 kcal/mol) have been observed for the single bases, indicating that tautomeric alterations of isolated single bases are quite unlikely. On the other hand, relatively lower values of the kinetic barriers (about 20-25 kcal/mol) for the DNA base pairs A:T and G:C clearly suggest that the tautomeric shifts are much more favorable in DNA base pairs than in isolated single bases. The unusual base pairing A′:C, T′:G, C′:A or G′:T in the daughter DNA molecule, resulting from a parent DNA molecule with tautomeric shifts, is found to be stable enough to result in a mutation. The transition rate constants for the single DNA bases in addition to the base pairs are also calculated by computing the free energy differences between the transition states and the reactants.