Shukla, L. I., Pazdro, R., Becker, D. and Sevilla, M. D. Sugar Radicals in DNA: Isolation of Neutral Radicals in Gamma-Irradiated DNA by Hole and Electron Scavenging. Radiat. Res. 163, 591–602 (2005).

In this investigation of the radical formation and the reaction of radicals in γ-irradiated DNA, we report the isolation of putative neutral radicals by the scavenging of holes by Fe(CN)64− and of electrons by Fe(CN)63−. Experiments are performed under conditions that emphasize direct and quasi-direct effects (collectively called direct-type effects.) Samples containing Fe(CN)64− show effective scavenging of holes and the ESR spectra obtained arise principally from DNA anion radicals and neutral radicals. On the other hand, for samples containing Fe(CN)63−, electron scavenging is highly efficient, and the resulting spectra arise principally from guanine cation radicals and neutral radicals. When both Fe(CN)64− and Fe(CN)63− are present, a near complete scavenging of cation radicals and anion radicals is observed at 77 K, and the ESR spectra that result originate predominantly with neutral radicals which are assigned predominantly to radicals on the sugar phosphate backbone. A notable finding is the presence of spectral components that indicate the formation, through the rupture of the C3′–O bond, of a neutral deoxyribose radical; a concurrent strand break must accompany formation of this radical. This radical was previously reported in argon-ion-irradiated DNA and now, for the first time, is reported in DNA irradiated with low-LET radiation.

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