Collins, C., Zhou, X., Wang, R., Barth, M. C., Jiang, T., Coderre, J. A. and Dedon, P. C. Differential Oxidation of Deoxyribose in DNA by γ and α-Particle Radiation. Radiat. Res. 163, 654–662 (2005).

Emerging evidence points to the importance of deoxyribose oxidation in the toxicity of oxidative DNA damage, including the formation of protein-DNA crosslinks and base adducts. With the goal of understanding the differences in deoxyribose oxidation chemistry known to occur with different oxidants, we have compared the formation of one product of 3′-oxidation of deoxyribose in DNA, 3′-phosphoglycolaldehyde (PGA) residues, in isolated DNA and cells exposed to ionizing radiations. A recently developed gas chromatography/negative chemical ionization mass spectrometry method was used to quantify PGA residues in purified DNA and in human TK6 lymphoblastoid cells exposed to γ radiation (60Co) and α particles (241Am). The level of PGA residues was then correlated with the total quantity of deoxyribose oxidation determined by plasmid topoisomer analysis. Alpha-particle irradiation (0–100 Gy) of purified DNA in 50 mM potassium phosphate (pH 7.4) produced a linear dose response of 0.13 PGA residues per 106 nucleotides per gray. When normalized to an estimate of the total number of deoxyribose oxidation events (2.0 per 106 nucleotides per gray), PGA formation occurred in 7% (±0.5) of deoxyribose oxidation events produced by α-particle radiation. In contrast, the efficiency of PGA formation in γ-irradiated DNA was found to be 1% (±0.02), which indicates a shift in the chemistry of deoxyribose oxidation, possibly as a result of the different track structures of the two types of ionizing radiation. Studies with γ radiation were extended to TK6 cells, in which it was observed that γ radiation produced a linear dose response of 0.0019 PGA residues per 106 nucleotides per gray. This is consistent with an approximately 1000-fold quenching effect in cells, similar to the results of other published studies of oxidative DNA damage in vivo.

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