Model Calculations of Radiation-Induced Damage in Thymine Derivatives

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Conference Proceeding

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When the thymine base is oxidized, the resulting cation may deprotonate reversibly at N3, or irreversibly at >C5-CH3. In all thymine derivatives studied so far in the solid state, there is always a significant concentration of a radical formed by net H-abstraction from the >C5-CH 3. DFT calculations on this allyl-like radical are in good agreement with the experimental results for both the isotropic and anisotropic hyperfine couplings. There is a tendency for the thymine cation to deprotonate at N3 in solution. Calculations on the N3 deprotonated thymine cation yield two structures, one planar radical with an unusually large N1-C2 bond length, and one nonplanar radical with the N3 more than 25° out of the molecular plane. Calculations show that the structure with the lowest energy is the allyl-like radical.