Unravelling structures of radicals of kynurenic acid formed in the photoinduced reactions with tryptophan and N-acetyl tyrosine

Olga B. Morozova, Maksim P. Geniman, Mikhail S. Panov, Natalya N. Fishman, Alexandra V. Yurkovskaya, Peter S. Sherin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kynurenic acid (KNA) in the triplet state reacts with tryptophan (Trp) at neutral pH via proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET), which includes the stepwise transition of both electron and proton from Trp to triplet KNA. In the case of tyrosine (Tyr), the quenching reaction is H-transfer, a simultaneous transfer of electron and proton. In this work, we used the time-resolved chemically induced dynamic nuclear polarization (TR CIDNP) method to unveil the sites of H/H+ transfer within KNA. For this purpose, we obtained the values of 1H hyperfine coupling constants (HFCCs) and g-factors for different tautomeric forms of KNA radicals by the DFT method, then calculated CIDNP intensities using these g-factors and HFCCs according to the Adrian model. The calculated CIDNP intensities for different protons were correlated with their CIDNP intensities in the geminate spectra detected in the photoreactions of KNA with Trp, N-acetyl Trp, and N-acetyl Tyr. Best-fit proportionality relationships between calculated and experimental CIDNP intensities have shown that the KNA anion radical is present in two of the three possible tautomeric forms, which result from the H/H+ movement to the carbonyl oxygen of keto- and oxo-quinolinate forms of KNA, without any visible contribution of the H/H+ transfer to the nitrogen of the enol form. For 4-hydroxyquinoline (4HQN), being the chromophoric core of KNA and exhibiting the same PCET and H-transfer reactions with Trp and Tyr, a single possible tautomeric form of its radical has been revealed as H/H+ transfer to the carbonyl oxygen of the keto-form.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27558-27565
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number44
Early online date24 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2022


  • Kynurenic Acid
  • Tryptophan
  • Protons
  • Tyrosine
  • Electrons




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