Formation of >C=O Bonds in the Radiation-induced Oxidation of Protein in Aqueous Systems

Article metrics


A SERIES of observations recently made indicate that formation of the >C=O bond is a principal chemical effect of the attack of hydroxyl radicals on protein in oxygenated solution. Irradiations were made in a neutron flux produced by bombardment of beryllium with 24-MeV. deuterons in the Crocker Laboratory 60-in. cyclotron. Solutions were exposed under one atmosphere of oxygen in sealed ‘Pyrex’ cells mounted in a motor-driven reel situated 15 cm. from the beryllium target. One of the cells in each exposure contained a formic acid–oxygen dosimeter1. (We employed the formic acid–oxygen dosimeter to obtain an estimate of the relative number of water molecules decomposed via (1) H2O = H + OH and (2) H2O = ½H2 + ½H2O2. Absolute yield values could then be calculated in terms of G(molecules/100 eV.), since in dilute solutions at pH values above 2.5, the sum G(1) + G(2) = G(H2O) is to a first approximation independent of the quality of the absorbed radiation1. With our standard geometry for neutron exposures, we obtained G(1) = 2.68, G(2) = 0.97 on the basis of G(H2O) = 3.652.)

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Hart, E. J., Rad. Res., 1, 53 (1957).

  2. 2

    Garrison, W. M., Weeks, B. M., Ward, J. O., and Bennett, W., J. Chem. Phys., 27, 1214 (1957).

  3. 3

    Northrop, J. H., Kunitz, M., and Herriott, R. M., “Crystalline Enzymes”, 28 (Columbia University Press, New York, 1948).

  4. 4

    Iddles, H. A., and Jackson, C. E., Indust. Eng. Chem., Anal. Ed., 6, 454 (1934).

  5. 5

    Lappin, G. R., and Clark, L. C., Anal. Chem., 23, 541 (1951).

  6. 6

    Haber, F., and Weiss, J., Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 147, 332 (1934).

  7. 7

    Cavallini, D., Frontali, N., and Toschi, G., Nature, 163, 568 (1949).

  8. 8

    Jayko, M. E., and Garrison, W. M., J. Chem. Phys., 25, 1084 (1956).

  9. 9

    Potter, V. R., and Elvehjem, C. A., J. Biol. Chem., 114, 495 (1936).

  10. 10

    See (a) Collinson, E., and Swallow, Chem. Rev., 56, 471 (1956) and (b) Garrison, W. M., Ann. Rev. Phys. Chem., 8 (1957).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

JAYKO, M., GARRISON, W. Formation of >C=O Bonds in the Radiation-induced Oxidation of Protein in Aqueous Systems. Nature 181, 413–414 (1958) doi:10.1038/181413a0

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.