Among the radicals (hydroxyl radical (•OH), hydrogen atom (H•), and solvated electron (esol−)) that are generated via water radiolysis, •OH has been shown to be the main transient species responsible for radiation damage to DNA via the indirect effect. Reactions of these radicals with DNA-model systems (bases, nucleosides, nucleotides, polynucleotides of defined sequences, single stranded (ss) and double stranded (ds) highly polymeric DNA, nucleohistones) were extensively investigated. The timescale of the reactions of these radicals with DNA-models range from nanoseconds (ns) to microseconds (µs) at ambient temperature and are controlled by diffusion or activation. However, those studies carried out in dilute solutions that model radiation damage to DNA via indirect action do not turn out to be valid in dense biological medium, where solute and water molecules are in close contact (e.g., in cellular environment). In that case, the initial species formed from water radiolysis are two radicals that are ultrashort-lived and charged: the water cation radical (H2O•+) and prethermalized electron. These species are captured by target biomolecules (e.g., DNA, proteins, etc.) in competition with their inherent pathways of proton transfer and relaxation occurring in less than 1 picosecond. In addition, the direct-type effects of radiation, i.e., ionization of macromoleculemore »
Reaction of Electrons with DNA: Radiation Damage to Radiosensitization
This review article provides a concise overview of electron involvement in DNA radiation damage. The review begins with the various states of radiation-produced electrons: Secondary electrons (SE), low energy electrons (LEE), electrons at near zero kinetic energy in water (quasi-free electrons, (e−qf)) electrons in the process of solvation in water (presolvated electrons, e−pre), and fully solvated electrons (e−aq). A current summary of the structure of e−aq, and its reactions with DNA-model systems is presented. Theoretical works on reduction potentials of DNA-bases were found to be in agreement with experiments. This review points out the proposed role of LEE-induced frank DNA-strand breaks in ion-beam irradiated DNA. The final section presents radiation-produced electron-mediated site-specific formation of oxidative neutral aminyl radicals from azidonucleosides and the evidence of radiosensitization provided by these aminyl radicals in azidonucleoside-incorporated breast cancer cells.
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