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Reductive Electron Transfer in Phenothiazine-Modified DNA Is Dependent on the Base Sequence



A new DNA assay has been designed, prepared and applied for the chemical investigation of reductive electron transfer through the DNA. It consists of 5-(10-methyl-phenothiazin-3-yl)-2′-deoxyuridine (Ptz-dU, 1) as the photoexcitable electron injector and 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (Br-dU) as the electron trap. The Ptz-dU-modified oligonucleotides were synthesised by means of a Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling protocol and subsequent automated phosphoramidite chemistry. Br-dU represents a kinetic electron trap, since it undergoes a chemical modification after its one-electron reduction that can be analysed by piperidine-induced strand cleavage. The quantification of the strand cleavage yields from irradiation experiments reveals important information about the electron-transfer efficiency. The performed DNA studies focused on the base sequence dependence of the electron-transfer efficiency with respect to the proposal that C. and T. act as intermediate electron carriers during electron hopping. From our observations it became evident that excess-electron transfer is highly sequence dependent and occurs more efficiently over T–A base pairs than over C–G base pairs.