Photochemistry of N-Isopropoxy-Substituted 2(1H)-Pyridone and 4-p-Tolylthiazole-2(3H)-thione:  Alkoxyl-Radical Release (Spin-Trapping, EPR, and Transient Spectroscopy) and Its Significance in the Photooxidative Induction of DNA Strand Breaks

UVA-irradiation of the photo-Fenton reagents N-isopropoxypyridone 2b and N-isopropoxythiazole-2(3H)-thione 3b releases radicals which induce strand breaks. Transient spectroscopy establishes N−O bond scission [ΦN-O = (75 ± 8)% for 2b and (65 ± 7)% 3b] as the dominating primary photochemical process to afford the DNA-damaging radicals. Product studies and laser-flash experiments reveal that the thiazolethione 3b leads primarily to the disulfide 5, from which through C−S bond breakage, the bithiazyl 6, the thiazole 7, and the isothiocyanate 8 are derived. Upon irradiation of pyridone 2b (300 nm) in aqueous media, a mixture of isopropoxyl and 2-hydroxyprop-2-yl radicals is formed, as confirmed by trapping with 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline N-oxide (DMPO) and EPR spectroscopy. In contrast, the photolysis of the thiazolethione 3b (350 nm) affords exclusively the DMPO adducts of the isopropoxyl radicals. Control experiments disclose that the thiazolethione-derived photoproduct disulfide 5, or the intermediary thiyl radicals B, scavenge the carbon-centered 2-hydroxyprop-2-yl radicals, which are generated from the isopropoxyl radicals by hydrogen shift. With supercoiled pBR 322 DNA in a 60:40 mixture of H2O−MeCN, the pyridone 2b and the thiazolethione 3b display moderate strand-break activity (17% open-circular DNA for 2b and 12% for 3b). In pure water, however, the pyridone 2b photoinduces substantially more DNA cleavage (32% open-circular DNA), which is attributed to the peroxyl radicals generated from the 2-hydroxyprop-2-yl radicals by oxygen trapping. The lower strand-break activity of the thiazolethione 3b derives presumably from isopropoxyl radicals, because only these are detected in the photolysis of this photo-Fenton reagent.