Jump to main content
Jump to site search

A Combined Experimental and DFT Approach on Free Radical Induced Oxidations of Kynurenic Acid


Kynurenic acid (KA), is a secondary metabolite of tryptophan degradation by the kynurenine pathway. Herein, we report the spectra and kinetics of transients derived from the one electron oxidations of KA by hydroxyl radical ( •OH), sulfate radical anion (SO4• ) and oxide radical ion (O•) in water. Using cyclic voltammetry, the (KA•+/KA) reduction potential of KA was found to be 1.5 V (vs. NHE). Transient absorption spectra obtained in the reactions of •OH with KA in the pH range 4 – 9 were characterized by two bands centered at 370 nm and 470 nm. A bimolecular rate constant (k2) of 5.8 ± 0.02  109 M−1 s−1 at pH 6.8 was determined for the reaction of •OH with KA. Radical adduct formation (RAF) of •OH with KA have been elucidated using B3LYP/6-311+G(d,p)/SMD(water) level calculations. In the SO4• reactions at pH 6.8, we obtained a transient spectrum at 2 s with max = 390 nm, which got transfomed at higher time scales with max at 370 nm. The primary transient in the SO4• reaction was attributed to the KA radical cation (KA•+) via single electron transfer (SET) mechanism; then KA•+ undergos a decarboxylation reaction with concurrent intramolecular H-atom shift to yield another radical. Transient spectrum with max at 390 nm and 460 nm have been obtained in the reactions of O• with doubly charged negative ion of KA at pH≈14. Using DFT calculations, we identified that two simultaneous mechanisms are operative in the O• reactions. The first one corresponds to a SET mechanism; while addition of O• followed by fast protonation by H2O accounts for the second pathway. Additionally, we studied the efficacy of KA against •OH induced lipid peroxidation of lecithin liposomes using thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) assay. The half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of KA for the reduction of lipid peroxidation was determined to be 168 M. We believe that, the findings of this work are noteworthy to further knowledge on the reactivity of biological oxidants towards KA and its antioxidant or radical scavenging abilities.

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information

06 Sep 2020
05 Oct 2020
First published
06 Oct 2020

New J. Chem., 2020, Accepted Manuscript
Article type

A Combined Experimental and DFT Approach on Free Radical Induced Oxidations of Kynurenic Acid

P. K. Kavanal Prabhakaran , P. K. Sajith and B. G. Singh, New J. Chem., 2020, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/D0NJ04472E

Social activity

Search articles by author