UV degradation of deoxyribonucleic acid

Gomes, Paolo J.; Ribeiro, Paulo A.; Shaw, David; Mason, Nigel J. and Raposo, Maria (2009). UV degradation of deoxyribonucleic acid. Polymer Degradation and Stability, 94(12) pp. 2134–2141.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2009.09.013


The effects of UV synchrotron radiation on deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) cast films have been systematically investigated by vacuum ultraviolet and infrared spectrophotometry as a function of irradiation time. Cast DNA films exposed at 140 nm (8.85 eV) for different irradiations times, revealed consistent changes in their VUV spectra which indicate a decrease of thymine groups and an increase of ? ? ?* transition spectral signature associated with the C=O group of the open sugar chain. This result was corroborated by a decrease in C-O stretching vibration at 1061 cm?1 observed in the infrared spectra. Both these results are consistent with the creation of single strand breaks in the deoxyribose component of DNA molecule and a decrease in the phosphate groups. It was also shown that UV radiation is effective in damaging the thymine groups involved in Hoogsteen base pairing with adenine. The analysis of the infrared data suggests that the usual spectroscopic fingerprints of DNA denaturation are not necessarily a reliable measure of DNA damage.

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