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Accueil du site > Production scientifique > Watson–Crick Base Pair Radical Cation as a Model for Oxidative Damage in DNA

Watson–Crick Base Pair Radical Cation as a Model for Oxidative Damage in DNA

Date de publication: 19 juin 2017

L. Feketeová, B. Chan, G. N. Khairallah, V. Steinmetz, P. Maitre , L. Radom, R. A. J. O’Hair
J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 8 3159–3165 (2017). DOI

Travail réalisé sur le site de l’Université Paris Sud.


The deleterious cellular effects of ionizing radiation are well-known, but the mechanisms causing DNA damage are poorly understood. The accepted molecular events involve initial oxidation and deprotonation at guanine sites, triggering hydrogen atom abstraction reactions from the sugar moieties, causing DNA strand breaks. Probing the chemistry of the initially formed radical cation has been challenging. Here, we generate, spectroscopically characterize, and examine the reactivity of the Watson–Crick nucleobase pair radical cation in the gas phase. We observe rich chemistry, including proton transfer between the bases and propagation of the radical site in deoxyguanosine from the base to the sugar, thus rupturing the sugar. This first example of a gas-phase model system providing molecular-level details on the chemistry of an ionized DNA base pair paves the way toward a more complete understanding of molecular processes induced by radiation. It also highlights the role of radical propagation in chemistry, biology, and nanotechnology.