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Preliminary communication

Isotope Effects in the Photosensitized Dimerization of Pyrimidines

A. Kornhauser ; Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Mass. 02115
J. B. Burnett ; Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Mass. 02115
G. Szabo ; Institute »Ruder Boskovic«, 41000 .Zagreb,. Croatia, Yugoslavia

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page 193-197

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Many of the biological effects of ultraviolet radiation can be explained
in terms of specific chemical and physical changes in the DNA. Correlations
have been made between the survival of u. v. irradiated cells and the production of certain types of lesions in the DNA.1 The pyrimidines in the DNA are the most sensitive receptors of u. v. photons. Both in vitro and in vivo irradiation of DNA with u. v. light of wavelenghs shorter than 300 nm yield cyclobutyl pyrimidine dimeirs. Pyrimidines can also be dimerized with wavelengths longer than 300 nm in the presence of carbonyl compounds by means of energy tr:msfer.2,3,4,5 This pro_cess ~s known as molecular photosensitization and yields
exclusively dimers without concomitant photohydration. Molecula.r photosensitization is of fundamental biologic importance, as wavelengths longer than 300 nm are .present in the sun spectrum on the earth's surface.


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