Molecular Life Sciences

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert D. Wells, Judith S. Bond, Judith Klinman, Bettie Sue Siler Masters, Ellis Bell

Spectroscopy of Damaged DNA

Living reference work entry


UV, fluorescence, circular dichroism, NMR, and other spectroscopic approaches can be used to study the properties of modified DNA (usually at the oligonucleotide level).


Long pieces of DNA with modifications are generally not very amenable to spectroscopy in that the spectral properties of the unmodified DNA bases obscure those of the damaged lesion. Most sophisticated spectroscopic studies have been done with oligonucleotides ≤18 bases in length and include ultraviolet (UV), fluorescence, circular dichroism (CD), and NMR studies. The synthesis of modified oligonucleotides is discussed under “Synthesis of Modified Oligonucleotides.”

Some modified bases have perturbed UV spectral properties, although they are usually not very dramatic (e.g., O 6-alkyl guanine, N 7-alkyl guanine) (Fig. 1a). Nevertheless, these can be utilized in titrations, etc. (Persmark and Guengerich 1994). C 8-aryl modifications can be more dramatic (Humphreys et al. 1992). The UV spectra of...


Circular Dichroism Spectrum Linear Dichroism Polycyclic Hydrocarbon Pyrene Derivative Spectroscopic Approach 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Center in Molecular ToxicologyBiochemistry and Center in Molecular Toxicology, Vanderbilt University School of MedicineNashvilleUSA