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Generation of N-tert-Butyl-α-Phenylnitrone Radical Adducts in Iron Breakdown of tert-Butyl-Hydroperoxide

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ESR spectroscopy coupled to the spin trapping technique was used to evaluate the generation of radical species arising from the ferrous ion induced decomposition of tert-butyl hydroperoxide (BuOOH) in methylene chloride. We report here that N-tert-butyl-α-phenylnitrone (PBN) can trap peroxyl radicals generated in the ferrous ion induced breakdown of high concentration of BuOOH (1M) at room temperature, the radical adduct being stable under the light. The peroxyl radical formation was demonstrated by direct ESR measurements at 77K. In contrast, alkoxyl and methyl radicals were trapped only in the presence of low hydroperoxide concentration (1mM). In order to measure the hyperfine splitting constants (hfsc) of the PBN-methyl adduct spectra were obtained in the presence of diphenylamine (DPA) or 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol (BHT), which quenched the alkoxyl radical. For this latter radical, the hfsc were calculated by computer simulation. A mechanism for a direct interaction between DPA and the alkoxyl radical is presented. DPA quenched the peroxyl radical in the reaction of high hydroperoxide concentrations, with the concomitant generation of a DPA nitrogen-based radical.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Modena, via Campi 287, 41100 Modena, Italy; 2: Department of Biochemistry, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA


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