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Ion-beam radiation damage to DNA by investigation of free radical formation and base damage



Melis Kant, Pawel Jaruga, Erdem Coskun, Samuel Ward, Alexander Stark, David Becker, Amitav Adhikary, Michael Sevilla, Miral M. Dizdar


This work investigated the physicochemical processes and DNA base products involved in Ne-22 ion- beam (ca. 1.4 GeV) radiation damage to hydrated (12 waters/nucleotide) highly polymerized salmon sperm DNA. For this purpose, approximately 12 small (ca. 10 mm x 4 mm x 1 mm) samples were stacked in a sample packet and then ion-beam irradiated at 77 K. Free radicals trapped in ion- beam irradiated DNA at 77 K were elucidated using ESR spectroscopy. After warming the samples to room temperature, the measurement of DNA base damage by GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS with isotope dilution revealed the formation of a plethora of products from all four DNA bases, and also the formation of 8,5′-cyclopurine-2′-deoxynucleosides, namely 5′R-cyclo-dAdo, 5′S-cyclo-dAdo, 5′R- cyclo-dGuo and 5′S-cyclo-dGuo. This work is the first to use the combination of ESR and mass spectrometry, enabling a better understanding of the mechanisms of radiation damage to DNA along the ion-beam track in terms of the formation of DNA free radicals and products. ESR measurements showed that, as the linear energy transfer (LET) profile of ion-beam radiation increases, the production of cation, anion and neutral radicals of DNA increases along the ion-beam track. The yields of DNA damage products along the ion-beam track were in excellent agreement with the radical production. Because the probability of recombination of DNA radicals in the core increases due to the rise in concentration of proximate ion radicals, the location of the highest energy deposition, the Bragg peak, may show different damage and may not be the location of the maximum damage. Supported by: NIH NCI grant R01CA04542, REF from CBR, OU, National Science Foundation under Grant No. CHE-1920110.
Conference Dates
March 1-6, 2020
Conference Location
Ventura, CA, US
Conference Title
DNA Damage, Mutation and Cancer; Gordon Research Conference


radiation damage to DNA, ESR spectroscopy, LC-MS/MS, DNA base damage


Kant, M. , Jaruga, P. , Coskun, E. , Ward, S. , Stark, A. , Becker, D. , Adhikary, A. , Sevilla, M. and Dizdar, M. (2020), Ion-beam radiation damage to DNA by investigation of free radical formation and base damage, DNA Damage, Mutation and Cancer; Gordon Research Conference, Ventura, CA, US (Accessed July 23, 2024)


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Created February 29, 2020, Updated October 12, 2021