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Populations and Dynamics of Guanine Radicals in DNA strands—Direct versus Indirect Generation

Evangelos Balanikas 1 Akos Banyasz 1, 2 Gérard Baldacchino 1 Dimitra Markovitsi 1, * 
* Corresponding author
1 DICO - Biomolécules Excitées
IRAMIS - Institut Rayonnement Matière de Saclay, LIDyl - Laboratoire Interactions, Dynamiques et Lasers (ex SPAM)
Abstract : Guanine radicals, known to be involved in the damage of the genetic code and aging, are studied by nanosecond transient absorption spectroscopy. They are generated in single, double and four-stranded structures (G-quadruplexes) by one and two-photon ionization at 266 nm, corresponding to a photon energy lower than the ionization potential of nucleobases. The quantum yield of the one-photon process determined for telomeric G-quadruplexes (TEL25/Na+) is (5.2 ± 0.3) × 10−3, significantly higher than that found for duplexes containing in their structure GGG and GG sequences, (2.1 ± 0.4) × 10−3. The radical population is quantified in respect of the ejected electrons. Deprotonation of radical cations gives rise to (G-H1)• and (G-H2)• radicals for duplexes and G-quadruplexes, respectively. The lifetimes of deprotonated radicals determined for a given secondary structure strongly depend on the base sequence. The multiscale non-exponential dynamics of these radicals are discussed in terms of inhomogeneity of the reaction space and continuous conformational motions. The deviation from classical kinetic models developed for homogeneous reaction conditions could also be one reason for discrepancies between the results obtained by photoionization and indirect oxidation, involving a bi-molecular reaction between an oxidant and the nucleic acid.
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Evangelos Balanikas, Akos Banyasz, Gérard Baldacchino, Dimitra Markovitsi. Populations and Dynamics of Guanine Radicals in DNA strands—Direct versus Indirect Generation. Molecules, 2019, 24 (13), pp.2347. ⟨10.3390/molecules24132347⟩. ⟨cea-02370029⟩



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