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Title: Photostability of 2,6-diaminopurine and its 2′-deoxyriboside investigated by femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy
Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from the sun is essential for the prebiotic syntheses of nucleotides, but it can also induce photolesions such as the cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) to RNA or DNA oligonucleotide in prebiotic Earth. 2,6-Diaminopurine (26DAP) has been proposed to repair CPDs in high yield under prebiotic conditions and be a key component in enhancing the photostability of higher-order prebiotic DNA structures. However, its electronic relaxation pathways have not been studied, which is necessary to know whether 26DAP could have survived the intense UV fluxes of the prebiotic Earth. We investigate the electronic relaxation mechanism of both 26DAP and its 2′-deoxyribonucleoside (26DAP-d) in aqueous solution using steady-state and femtosecond transient absorption measurements that are complemented with electronic-structure calculations. The results demonstrate that both purine derivatives are significantly photostable to UVR. It is shown that upon excitation at 287 nm, the lowest energy 1 ππ* state is initially populated. The population then branches following two relaxation coordinates in the 1 ππ* potential energy surface, which are identified as the C2- and C6-relaxation coordinates. The population following the C6-coordinate internally converts to the ground state nonradiatively through a nearly barrierless conical intersection within 0.7 ps in 26DAP or within 1.1 ps more » in 26DAP-d. The population that follows the C2-relaxation coordinate decays back to the ground state by a combination of nonradiative internal conversion via a conical intersection and fluorescence emission from the 1 ππ* minimum in 43 ps and 1.8 ns for the N9 and N7 tautomers of 26DAP, respectively, or in 70 ps for 26DAP-d. Fluorescence quantum yields of 0.037 and 0.008 are determined for 26DAP and 26DAP-d, respectively. Collectively, it is demonstrated that most of the excited state population in 26DAP and 26DAP-d decays back to the ground state via both nonradiative and radiative relaxation pathways. This result lends support to the idea that 26DAP could have accumulated in large enough quantities during the prebiotic era to participate in the formation of prebiotic RNA or DNA oligomers and act as a key component in the protection of the prebiotic genetic alphabet. « less
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Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
4204 to 4211
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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