On the wavelength dependence of UV induced thymine photolesions: a synchrotron radiation circular dichroism study
Solar mutagenesis via the formation of thymine dimer photoproducts is a primary cause of skin cancer. The aim of this study is to provide a direct method for following the development of photolesions in thymine single strands and to determine how the formation of these photoproducts depends on the excitation wavelength in the ultraviolet (UV) between 210 nm and 325 nm. Experiments were performed both with a 20 Hz pulsed, intense, tunable laser as well as UV lamps (at 254 nm and 302 nm), but we find that only the dose matters at these wavelengths for the yield of photoproducts. Hence in both cases the lesion process is due to one-photon absorption. The formation and yields of the photoproducts as the irradiation dose is increased is followed through measurement of synchrotron radiation circular dichroism (SRCD) spectra. A principal component analysis (PCA) of the SRCD data yields CD signatures for each of the resulting photoproducts and reveals a strong irradiation wavelength dependence upon which products are formed; cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) are formed primarily at higher irradiation wavelengths (from 250 to 300 nm); the 6,4 pyrimidine–pyrimidone photoadduct (64PP) is formed in the range 210 to 285 nm, with a higher rate of formation in the lower part of that range, while in the very lowest irradiation wavelength range (210 to 240 nm) we find thymidine monophosphate (dTMP), which indicates cleavage of the DNA backbone. Our work demonstrates the strength of SRCD spectroscopy compared to ordinary absorption spectroscopy, as the latter is not sufficient to obtain fingerprints of the thymine photoproducts.