Document details

The role of electron transfer in DNA building blocks: evaluation of strand breaks and their implications

Author(s): Almeida, Diogo Alexandre Fialho de

Date: 2013

Persistent ID: http://hdl.handle.net/10362/10875

Origin: Repositório Institucional da UNL

Subject(s): Electron transfer; Negative ion formation; Time-of-flight mass spectrometry; Atom-molecule collisions; DNA sugar unit


Description

Radiation-induced damage to biological systems, both direct and indirect processes, has increasingly come under scrutiny by the international scientific community due to recent findings that electrons are a very effective agent in damaging DNA/RNA. Indeed, much remains to be discovered regarding the exact physico-chemical processes that occur in the nascent stages of DNA/RNA damage by incident radiation. However, it is also known that electrons do not exist freely in the physiological medium, but rather solvated and/or pre-solvated states. This leads to the need for new techniques that can better explore the damaging role of “bound” electrons to DNA/RNA. The work presented in this thesis consists on the study of electron transfer in collisions of atomic species with molecules of biological relevance. In order to study these processes, two experimental setups were used. One setup consists of a crossed beam experiment where a neutral potassium beam is created and made to collide with an effusive molecular target beam. The anionic products that stem from electron transfer in potassium atom to the molecular target collisions are then extracted and time-of-flight (TOF) mass analysed. In the second setup a beam of anionic species is formed and made to collide with a molecular target. Collisions with three different anionic beams were performed (H-, O- and OH-), as well as with different simple organic molecules, by measuring the positive and negative ion fragmentation patterns with a quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS). A comparison between these two collisional systems can greatly help to understand the underlying mechanisms of the electron transfer processes. Finally, studies of potassium collisions with sugar surrogates D-Ribose and THF were performed. These studies show very different fragmentation patterns from DEA, although in the case of THF, it is suggested that the initially accessed states are the same as in DEA. With these studies was also possible to show for the first time collision induced site and bond selectivity breaking, where the electron is transferred into a given state of the acceptor molecule and the resulting fragmentation pathways are exclusive to the initial anionic state. Furthermore, the role of the potassium cation post collisionwas explored and indeed its presence is suggested to induce at least partial suppression of auto-detachment. The implications that ensue from this degradation are analysed in the light of the obtained fragmentation patterns.

Dissertação para obtenção do Grau de Doutor em Engenharia Física

Document Type Doctoral thesis
Language English
Advisor(s) Limão-Vieira, Paulo
Contributor(s) Almeida, Diogo Alexandre Fialho de
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