Single crystals of anhydrous inosine were studied subsequent to exposure to high and low doses of X radiation at 10 K using K-band EPR, ENDOR, and field-swept-ENDOR (FSE) techniques. Immediately following high radiation doses at 10 K at least eight different radicals, RI-RVIII, were observed. All radicals, except for RVIII, were also observed at low doses, but the relative yields varied with the radiation doses. RI, which decayed with no observable successor at about 65 K, has magnetic characteristics similar to those expected for the hypoxanthine base cation. RII, the dominating radical at low radiation doses, exhibits only one hyperfine coupling amenable for ENDOR analysis. From the nature of this coupling and the EPR and FSE characteristics of the resonance, it is suggested that RII is formed by addition of a neighbor sugar fragment to the C2 position of a hypoxanthine base, forming a C2-O5′-C5′ ester bond. RII is unstable and decayed at about 60 K without any detectable successor. RIII and RIV are the C2 and C8 H-addition radicals, respectively. These species are formed in minor amounts after irradiation at low temperatures, and they are the only observable radicals left at room temperature. Two sugar-centered radicals, RV and RVI, are formed by net H-abstraction from the C4′ and C5′ positions, respectively. These radicals dominate the EPR spectra after high radiation doses at low temperatures. A transformation from RV into RIII, the C2 H-adduct, started at about 80 K. Similarly, a transformation of RVI into RIV started at about 210 K. Several minor species were analyzed. RVII is characterized by an α-coupling due to 26% spin density at C8, and RVIII is characterized by 12% π-spin density at N1. Possible structures for these radicals are discussed.

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