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A Combined Experimental and Theoretical Approach to the Photogeneration of 5,6-Dihydro­pyrimidin-5-yl Radicals in Nonaqueous Media

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posted on 18.04.2016 by Isabel Aparici-Espert, Antonio Francés-Monerris, Gemma M. Rodríguez-Muñiz, Daniel Roca-Sanjuán, Virginie Lhiaubet-Vallet, Miguel A. Miranda
The chemical fate of radical intermediates is relevant to understand the biological effects of radiation and to explain formation of DNA lesions. A direct approach to selectively generate the putative reactive intermediates is based on the irradiation of photolabile precursors. But, to date, radical formation and reactivity have only been studied in aqueous media, which do not completely mimic the microenvironment provided by the DNA structure and its complexes with proteins. Thus, it is also important to evaluate the photogeneration of nucleoside-based radicals in nonaqueous media. The attention here is focused on the independent generation of 5,6-dihydropyrimidin-5-yl radicals in organic solvent through the synthesis of new lipophilic tert-butyl ketone precursors. Formation of 5,6-dihydro-2′-deoxyuridin-5-yl and 5,6-dihydrothymidin-5-yl radicals has first been confirmed by using a new nitroxide-derived profluorescent radical trap. Further evidence has been obtained by nanosecond laser flash photolysis through detection of long-lived transients. Finally, the experimental data are corroborated by multiconfigurational ab initio CASPT2//CASSCF methodology.