Radiation-Chemical Oxidation of Peptides in the Solid State

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Science  09 Oct 1964:
Vol. 146, Issue 3641, pp. 250-252
DOI: 10.1126/science.146.3641.250


Gamma-ray irradiation of polypeptides as highly dispersed fluffs under oxygen leads to chemical degradation of the peptide bond with the remarkably high oxygen consumption of about one molecule per 2 ev of absorbed energy. A radical chain mechanism appears to be involved, and there is evidence that excited states of the polypeptide aggregate undergo chemical quenching by molecular oxygen.