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Intramolecular Photo-Oxidation as a Potential Source to Probe Biological Electron Damage: A Carboxylated Adenosine Analogue as Case Study

Castellani, Maria Elena and Verlet, Jan R. R. (2021) 'Intramolecular Photo-Oxidation as a Potential Source to Probe Biological Electron Damage: A Carboxylated Adenosine Analogue as Case Study.', Molecules., 26 (10). p. 2877.


A carboxylated adenosine analog (C-Ado−) has been synthesized and probed via time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy in order to induce intra-molecular charge transfer from the carboxylic acid moiety to the nucleobase. Intra-molecular charge transfer can be exploited as starting point to probe low-energy electron (LEE) damage in DNA and its derivatives. Time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) calculations at the B3LYP-6311G level of theory have been performed to verify that the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) was located on carboxylic acid and that the lowest occupied molecular orbital (LUMO) was on the nucleobase. Hence, the carboxylic acid could work as electron source, whilst the nucleobase could serve the purpose of electron acceptor. The dynamics following excitation at 4.66 eV (266 nm) were probed using time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy using probes at 1.55 eV (800 nm) and 3.10 eV (400 nm). The data show rapid decay of the excited state population and, based on the similarity of the overall dynamics to deoxy-adenosine monophosphate (dAMP–), it appears that the dominant decay mechanism is internal conversion following 1ππ* excitation of the nucleobase, rather than charge-transfer from the carboxylic acid to the nucleobase.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:10 May 2021
Date deposited:15 November 2021
Date of first online publication:13 May 2021
Date first made open access:15 November 2021

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