This work reports an ESR and product analysis investigation of Kr-86 ion-beam irradiation of hydrated DNA at 77 K. The irradiation results in the formation and trapping of both base radicals and sugar phosphate radicals (DNA backbone radicals). The absolute yields (G, μmol/J) of the base radicals are smaller than the yields found in similarly prepared γ-irradiated DNA samples, and the relative yields of backbone radicals relative to base radicals are much higher than that found in γ-irradiated samples. From these results, we have elaborated our radiation chemical model of the track structure for ion-beam irradiated DNA as it applies to krypton ion-beams. The base radicals, which are trapped as ion radicals or reversibly protonated or deprotonated ion radicals, are formed almost entirely in the track penumbra, a region in which radiation chemical effects are similar to those found in γ-irradiated samples. By comparing the yields of base radicals in ion-beam samples to the yields of the same radicals in γ-irradiated samples, the partition of energy between the low-LET region (penumbra) and the core is experimentally determined. The neutral sugar and other backbone radicals, which are not as susceptible to recombination as are ion radicals, are formed largely in the track core. The backbone radicals show a linear dose response up to very high doses. Unaltered base release yields in Kr-86 irradiated hydrated DNA are equal to sugar radical yields within experimental error limits, consistent with radiation-chemical processes in which all base release originates with sugar radicals. Two phosphorus-centered radicals from fragmentation of the DNA backbone are found in low yields.
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Vol. 178 • No. 6