Letter | Published:

Radiation-induced Oxidation of Cytosine and Uracil in Aqueous Solution of Copper (II)

Naturevolume 212pages394395 (1966) | Download Citation



BOTH the hydrated electron, eaq, and the hydroxyl radical, OH, which are formed as the principal intermediates in water radiolysis, react rapidly with the pyrimidine bases through preferential addition to the 5, 6 double bond to give the hydropyrimidyl radical, BH, and the hydroxypyrimidyl radical, BOH, respectively1–4. The yields for base destruction (molecules/100 eV) in oxygen-free solutions under γ-rays are, however, consistently low, G(−B) 1 (refs. 5 and 6), when compared with primary yields of the radical species derived from water, Geaq = 2.85, GOH = 2.4 (ref. 7); recent work indicates that secondary reactions of BH and BOH lead to regeneration of the parent compound4. In oxygen-saturated solutions, eaq, is scavenged by oxygen to form O2(HO2), the regeneration reaction is quenched, and the yield for base destruction increases to G(−B)2 through reactions involving the peroxy radical, B(OH)2. Many organic products are formed, however, from the intermediate, B(OH)2, and the overall product stoichiometries have yet to be fully elucidated8.

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  1. Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, California



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