pH-Dependent Singlet O 2 Oxidation Kinetics of Guanine and 9-Methylguanine: An Online Mass Spectrometry and Spectroscopy Study Combined with Theoretical Exploration

J Phys Chem B. 2018 Jan 11;122(1):40-53. doi: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b09515. Epub 2017 Dec 19.


We report a kinetic and mechanistic study on the title reactions, in which 1O2 was generated by the reaction of H2O2 with Cl2 and bubbled into an aqueous solution of guanine and 9-methylguanine (9MG) at different pH values. Oxidation kinetics and product branching ratios were measured using online electrospray ionization mass spectrometry coupled with absorption and emission spectrophotometry, and product structures were determined by collision-induced dissociation (CID) tandem mass spectrometry. Experiments revealed strong pH dependence of the reactions. The oxidation of guanine is noticeable only in basic solution, while the oxidation of 9MG is weak in acidic solution, increases in neutral solution, and becomes intensive in basic solution. 5-Guanidinohydantoin (Gh) and spiroiminodihydantoin (Sp) were detected as the major oxidation products of guanine and 9MG, and Sp became dominant in basic solution. A reaction intermediate was captured in mass spectra, and assigned to gem-diol on the basis of CID measurements. This intermediate served as the precursor for the formation of Gh. After taking into account solution compositions at each pH, first-order oxidation rate constants were extracted for individual species: that is, 3.2-3.6 × 107 M-1 s-1 for deprotonated guanine, and 1.2 × 106 and 4.6-4.9 × 107 M-1 s-1 for neutral and deprotonated 9MG, respectively. Guided by approximately spin-projected density-functional-theory-calculated reaction potential energy surfaces, the kinetics for the initial 1O2 addition to guanine and 9MG was evaluated using transition state theory (TST). The comparison between TST modeling and experiment confirms that 1O2 addition is rate-limiting for oxidation, which forms endoperoxide and peroxide intermediates as determined in previous measurements of the same systems in the gas phase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chlorine / chemistry
  • Guanidines / chemical synthesis
  • Guanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Guanine / chemistry*
  • Guanosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Guanosine / chemical synthesis
  • Hydantoins / chemical synthesis
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / chemistry
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kinetics
  • Models, Chemical
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Singlet Oxygen / chemistry*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
  • Spiro Compounds / chemical synthesis
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Guanidines
  • Hydantoins
  • Spiro Compounds
  • guanidinohydantoin
  • spiroiminodihydantoin
  • Guanosine
  • Singlet Oxygen
  • 9-methylguanine
  • Chlorine
  • Guanine
  • Hydrogen Peroxide