Date of Award

Summer 5-20-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Kathryn B. Grant

Second Advisor

Dr. Dabney W. Dixon

Third Advisor

Dr. Donald Hamelberg


DNA photosensitizers are compounds that are capable of binding in to DNA strands through groove binding, intercalation, or electrostatic interactions. Excitation of these agents by light generates reactive oxygen species which causes extensive photo-oxidative damage to genomic DNA. Physiological concentrations of NaCl and KCl are ~ 150 mM and 260 mM within the cell nucleus where DNA is contained. Unfortunately, the ability of most photosensitizers to bind to double-helical DNA is reduced and photocleavage yields are diminished as concentrations of salt increase. The aim of this project is to observe the photocleavage of pUC19 plasmid DNA induced by N1,N1-bis(9-anthrymethyl)triethylenetetraamine tetrahydrochloride (AL-VIII 23) 1 or N,N-dimethyl-N’-(9-methylanthracenyl)ethylenediamine (NMEA) 2 in presence of salt. Spectroscopic titrations and DNA melting assays were used to study binding modes and affinities of both dyes to the helix upon the addition of salt.