Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Kathryn Grant

Second Advisor

Dr. Lei Li

Third Advisor

Dr. Rafaela Feresin


The complex interaction within the metabolic pathways of organic substances such as quinones presents a captivating network of biochemical reactions that can significantly impact the viability of cells. These various molecules, each possessing distinct characteristics and roles, come together in an intricate web, resulting in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This can ultimately lead to cell death and cell damage, achieved in part through the reaction of these substances via chemical or light-induced DNA cleavage. Utilizing spectrometric analysis, the characteristics of five biogenetic quinones (Vit B2, aloe-emodin, rhein, co-enzyme Q0, and thymoquinone) were assessed, whereas, in the case of determining DNA damage, gel electrophoresis was employed. Spectral results showed the stability of all compounds in neutral aqueous solutions and in some cases evidence of quinone aggregation and/or DNA interaction. Our analyses outcome unveiled the prospective pro-oxidant attributes of vitamin B2 in the presence of the biogenic reducing agents reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and reduced glutathione (GSH) and/or under UV irradiation. Aloe-emodin, on the other hand, only showed some level of DNA photocleavage when NADH was present. The assessment of ROS production through fluorometric analyses suggested that vitamin B2 inflicts DNA damage by producing hydroxyl radicals ( .OH). In contrast, aloe-emodin showed no fluorescence signals indicative of hydroxyl radical production.


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