Low-energy-electron interactions with DNA: approaching cellular conditions with atmospheric experiments

  • Elahe AlizadehEmail author
  • Léon Sanche
Regular Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Issue: Nano-scale Insights into Ion-beam Cancer Therapy


A novel technique has been developed to investigate low energy electron (LEE)-DNA interactions in the presence of small biomolecules (e.g., N2, O2, H2O) found near DNA in the cell nucleus, in order to simulate cellular conditions. In this technique, LEEs are emitted from a metallic surface exposed by soft X-rays and interact with DNA thin films at standard ambient temperature and pressure (SATP). Whereas atmospheric N2 had little effect on the yields of LEE-induced single and double strand breaks, both O2 and H2O considerably modified and increased such damage. The highest yields were obtained when DNA is embedded in a combined O2 and H2O atmosphere. In this case, the amount of additional double strand breaks was supper-additive. The effect of modifying the chemical and physical stability of DNA by platinum-based chemotherapeutic agents (Pt-drugs) including cisplatin, carboplatin and oxaliplatin was also investigated with this technique. The results obtained provide information on the role played by subexcitation-energy electrons and dissociative electron attachment in the radiosensitization of DNA by Pt-drugs, which is an important step to unravel the mechanisms of radiosensitisation of these agents in chemoradiation cancer therapy.


Oxaliplatin Tantalum Enhancement Factor Relative Humidity Level Dissociative Electron Attachment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Group of Radiation Sciences, Department of Nuclear Medicine and Radiobiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversity of SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada

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