High-energy radiation and oxidizing agents can ionize DNA. One electron oxidation gives rise to a radical cation whose charge (hole) can migrate through DNA covering several hundreds of Å, eventually leading to irreversible oxidative damage and consequent disease. Understanding the thermodynamic, kinetic and chemical aspects of the hole transport in DNA is important not only for its biological consequences, but also for assessing the properties of DNA in redox sensing or labeling. Furthermore, due to hole migration, DNA could potentially play an important role in nanoelectronics, by acting as both a template and active component. Herein, we review our work on the dynamics of hole transfer in DNA carried out in the last decade. After retrieving the thermodynamic parameters needed to address the dynamics of hole transfer by voltammetric and spectroscopic experiments and quantum chemical computations, we develop a theoretical methodology which allows for a faithful interpretation of the kinetics of the hole transport in DNA and is also capable of taking into account sequence-specific effects.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited