Absorption spectrum of DNA for wavelengths greater than 300 nm

John C. Sutherland, K. P. Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

144 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although DNA absorption at wavelengths greater than 300 nm is much weaker than that at shorter wavelengths, this absorption seems to be responsible for much of the biological damage caused by solar radiation of wavelengths less than 320 nm. Accurate measurement of the absorption spectrum of DNA above 300 nm is complicated by turbidity characteristic of concentrated solutions of DNA. We have measured the absorption spectra of DNA from calf thymus, Clostridium perfringens, Escherichia coli, Micrococcus luteus, salmon testis, and human placenta using procedures which separate optical density due to true absorption from that due to turbidity. Above 300 nm, the relative absorption of DNA increases as a function of guanine-cytosine content, presumably because the absorption of guanine is much greater than the absorption of adenine at these wavelengths. This result suggests that the photophysical processes which follow absorption of a long-wavelength photon may, on the average, differ from those induced by shorter-wavelength photons. It may also explain the lower quantum yield for the killing of cells by wavelengths above 300 nm compared to that by shorter wavelengths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-409
Number of pages11
JournalRadiation Research
Volume86
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

deoxyribonucleic acid
absorption spectra
DNA
wavelengths
guanines
turbidity
Photons
Clostridium
testes
Micrococcus luteus
calves
optical density
adenines
Clostridium perfringens
photons
solar radiation
Escherichia
Salmon
Base Composition
Guanine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Cite this

Absorption spectrum of DNA for wavelengths greater than 300 nm. / Sutherland, John C.; Griffin, K. P.

In: Radiation Research, Vol. 86, No. 3, 01.01.1981, p. 399-409.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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