Quasi-Free Electron-Mediated Radiation Sensitizaion by C5-Halopyrimidines

by Jun Ma, Teseer Bahry, Sergey A. Denisov, Amitava Adhikary, Mehran Mostafavi

J. Phys. Chem. A 2021, 125, 36, 7967–7975; doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpca.1c05974

Substitution of the thymidine moiety in DNA by C5-substituted halogenated thymidine analogues causes significant augmentation of radiation damage in living cells. However, the molecular pathway involved in such radiosensitization process has not been clearly elucidated to date in solution at room temperature. So far, low-energy electrons (LEEs; 0–20 eV) under vacuum condition and solvated electrons (esol) in solution are shown to produce the σ-type C5-centered pyrimidine base radical through dissociative electron attachment involving carbon–halogen bond breakage. Formation of this σ-type radical and its subsequent reactions are proposed to cause cellular radiosensitization. Here, we report time-resolved measurements at room temperature, showing that a radiation-produced quasi-free electron (eqf) in solution promptly breaks the C5-halogen bond in halopyrimidines forming the σ-type C5 radical via an excited transient anion radical. These results demonstrate the importance of ultrafast reactions of eqf, which are extremely important in chemistry, physics, and biology, including tumor radiochemotherapy.

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