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    We present high-resolution measurements of the dissociative electron attachment (DEA) to isolated gas-phase hypoxanthine (C5H4N4O, Hyp), a tRNA purine base. The anion mass spectra and individual ion efficiency curves from Hyp were measured as a function of electron energy below 9 eV. The mass spectra at 1 and 6 eV exhibit the highest anion yields, indicating possible common precursor ions that decay into the detectable anionic fragments. The (Hyp - H) anion (C5H3N4O(-)) exhibits a sharp resonant peak at 1 eV, which we tentatively assign to a dipole-bound state of the keto-N1H,N9H tautomer in which dehydrogenation occurs at either the N1 or N9 position based upon our quantum chemical computations (B3LYP/6-311+G(d,p) and U(MP2-aug-cc-pVDZ+)) and prior studies with adenine. This closed-shell dehydrogenated anion is the dominant fragment formed upon electron attachment, as with other nucleobases. Seven other anions were also observed including (Hyp - NH)(-), C4H3N4 (-)/C4HN3O(-), C4H2N3 (-), C3NO(-)/HC(HCN)CN(-), OCN(-), CN(-), and O(-). Most of these anions exhibit broad but weak resonances between 4 and 8 eV similar to many analogous anions from adenine. The DEA to Hyp involves significant fragmentation, which is relevant to understanding radiation damage of biomolecules.


    M Michele Dawley, Katrin Tanzer, Ian Carmichael, Stephan Denifl, Sylwia Ptasińska. Dissociative electron attachment to the gas-phase nucleobase hypoxanthine. The Journal of chemical physics. 2015 Jun 7;142(21):215101

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    PMID: 26049525

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