DNA radiation damage probed by DNA nanotechnology

Low-energy electron induced reactions

VUV induced reactions

We have characterized ultraviolet (UV) photon-induced DNA strand break processes by determination of absolute cross sections for photoabsorption and for sequence-specific DNA single strand breakage induced by photons in an energy range from 6.50 to 8.94 eV. These represent the lowestenergy photons able to  induce DNA strand breaks. Oligonucleotide targets are immobilized on a UV transparent substrate in controlled quantities throughattachment to DNA origami templates. Photon-induced dissociation of single DNA strands is visualized and quantified using atomic force microscopy. The obtained quantum yields for strand breakage vary between 0.06 and 0.5, indicating highly efficient DNA strand breakage by UV photons, which is clearly dependent on the photon energy. Above the ionization threshold strand breakage becomes clearly the dominant form of DNA radiation damage, which is then also dependent on the nucleotide sequence.

S. Vogel, J. Rackwitz, R. Schürman, J. Prinz, A. R. Milosavljević, M. Réfrégiers, A. Giuliani, I. Bald, J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 20156, 4589.