Pyrimidine dimer splitting in covalently linked dimer—arylamine systems
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Cyclobutadipyrimidines (pyrimidine dimers) undergo photosplitting which is sensitized by electron donors. We prepared a series of compounds in which a dimer is directly linked to an arylamine, which acts as sensitizer for dimer splitting. Two diastereomers of the dimer-arylamine exhibited very different splitting efficiencies. Also studied were N-methyl, ring methoxy, as well as deuterated derivatives of the sensitizer. These dimer-arylamines had an absorption band with lambda max approximately 300 nm. In each case intramolecular photosensitization of dimer splitting was highly dependent on the solvent, ranging in one instance from phi spl = 0.02 in water to a high value of 0.31 in the least polar solvent mixture examined (1,4-dioxane: isopentane, 1:99). A mechanism is proposed which involves photoinduced electron transfer from arylamine to dimer and splitting of the dimer radical anion. The dependence of splitting on the solvent was rationalized on the basis of retardation of back electron transfer due to Marcus inverted behavior of the charge-separated species. Photolyases might achieve their high efficiency of dimer splitting in part by employing a hydrophobic active site to slow back electron transfer in a similar manner.
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