SPring-8, the large synchrotron radiation facility

Skip to content
Personal tools

Development of a Novel Spectroscopic Technique to Observe Synergy Effect of Water with Radiation in the DNA Damage Processes (Press Release)

Release Date
08 Aug, 2014
  • BL23SU (JAEA Actinide Science)

Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT)
Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)

  A joint research group has successfully developed a novel spectroscopic technique to observe a new formation process of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) lesions in a cell mimetic circumstance via the synergy effect of water with radiation using X-rays at SPring-8, a large synchrotron radiation facility. This process may significantly be involved in the yields of DNA lesions formed. The research group was led by Masatoshi Ukai (professor) and Hiroyuki Shimada (assistant professor) of the Division of Advanced Applied Physics, the Institute of Engineering, TUAT (President, Tadashi Matsunaga), in cooperation with Akinari Yokoya (Group Leader) of the Research Group for Radiation and Biomolecular Science, the Advanced Science Research Center, JAEA (President, Shojiro Matsuura).

  The present successful development is a step toward the clarification of the mechanism of how DNA molecules in living cells are chemically changed by radiation, in particular, ion beams used in cancer treatment and the improvement of plant breeds, and is thus expected to greatly contribute to medical radiation and industrial applications. This study was partly supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Nos. 21241017 and 25241010).

  The achievements of this research were published online in Journal of Chemical Physics, published by the American Institute of Physics, on 7 August 2014.

The American Institute of Physics (AIP)『Journal of Chemical Physics
Title:“Nitrogen K-edge X-Ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES) Spectra of Purine-containing Nucleotides in Aqueous Solution
Authors: H. Shimada, T. Fukao, H. Minami, M. Ukai, K.Fujii, A. Yokoya, Y. Fukuda, and Y. Saitoh


Fig.1 Liquid micro-jet

Liquid sample of fine “water-gun” beam. Immediately after injection from the nozzle, the beam is invisible because the surface of the liquid sample is very smooth and no irregular reflection occurs. Since the evaporation is suppressed from the small area of the beam, the liquid sample survives from freezing under vacuum.

Fig.2 Schematic of synergy of water radiolysis with direct radiation effect

The DNA molecule changes as a result of its reaction with ions (H+ and OH-) generated upon water radiolysis. The synergy of this change with the absorption of radiation energy by the N atoms in DNA was observed for the first time in this study.

For more information, please contact:
Prof. Masatoshi Ukai (Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology)
TEL: +81-(0)42-388-7222 FAX: +81-(0)42-385-6255

GL Akinari Yokoya(the Advanced Science Research Center, JAEA)
TEL: +81-(0)29-284-3829 FAX: +81-(0)29-282-5927