Probe Oxidative Damage in DNA Charge Transfer Process
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As a hydrophilic biopolymer, a DNA molecule is surrounded by water molecules in aqueous solution. The charge hopping mechanism indicates the competition between radical cation quenching by water molecules and migration along DNA partially determines the distance and efficiency of charge transport in DNA. Lipid can effectively bind DNA to induce hydrophobic environment around the DNA helix and reduce the water contact with bases in the DNA duplex. Therefore, the effect of water molecules on charge transport can be studied by comparison between nature DNA and DNA-lipid complexes. We synthesized several cationic lipids with various lengths of dialkyl chain (2, 8, 18) and spermine (Sp4+) binding core in this research, which posses strong DNA binding affinity due to their multi-charged spermine head-groups. Among those, C8GlySp4+ and C2GlySp4+ can form stable complex with DNA oligomer in aqueous solution, characterized by time dependent UV and CD spectrometry. C2GlySp4+ showed the similar inhibition on oxidative damage in GG steps as spermine while C8GlySp4+ demonstrated much more significant prohibitive effect at the same concentration. Since all the lipids bear the same binding core, they should afford the similar binding affinity towards DNA duplexes. we attributed the observation to the longer length of dialkyl group in C8GlySp4+, which can more effectively shield the DNA duplex from the water molecules than either spermine or C2GlySp4+. A kinetic model based on phonon-assist polaron hopping mechanism was proposed to rationalize the experimental results. The finding may give insight on the protection of DNA oxidative damage by reducing the access of the water molecule to DNA duplex and may have potential impact on the application of DNA as conducting biopolymer and protection of DNA in biological system.