Development of artificial nucleic acids for therapeutic applications warrants that the oligomers be endowed with high specificity, enzymatic stability and with no/reduced off-target effects. The balance between strength of the duplex with target RNA and enzyme stability is therefore the key factor for the designed modification. The chiral serinol derivative combines the attributes of amino- and methoxy- substitution when at 2′- position and at 3′- and 5′- ends, effectively balancing the duplex stability and resistance to hydrolytic enzymes. The biological effect seen is the remarkable improvement in splice correction by the steric blocking antisense oligonucleotide with just 4 modified units, i.e ~20% substitution with R-aminomethoxypropyloxy (R-AMP)-thymidine within the 2ꞌ-OMe 18mer sequence.
Modified peptide nucleic acids (PNA) containing one or two thymine PNA monomers derived from phenylalanine were synthesized. Triple helix formation by these modified PNAs with RNA and DNA hairpins having a variable base pair in the middle of the helix were studied using isothermal titration calorimetry and compared with triple helix formation by non-modified PNAs. While unmodified PNA had low sequence selectivity against mismatched hairpins, introduction of one or two phenylalanine-derived monomers significantly increased the mismatch discrimination and sequence selectivity of the modified PNA. Consistent with our previous observations, PNA formed more stable triple helices with RNA than with DNA. Interestingly, the phenylalanine modification further improved the preference of PNA for RNA over DNA hairpin.
The development of a new class of peptide nucleic acids (PNAs), i.e., gamma PNAs (γPNAs), creates the need for a general and effective method for its delivery into cells for regulating gene expression in mammalian cells. Here we report the antisense activity of a recently developed hydrophilic and biocompatible diethylene glycol (miniPEG)-based gamma peptide nucleic acid called MPγPNAs via its delivery by poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA)-based nanoparticle system. We show that MPγPNA oligomers designed to bind to the selective region of Chemokine Receptor 5 (CCR5) transcript, induce potent and sequence-specific antisense effects as compared with regular PNA oligomers. In addition, PLGA nanoparticle delivery of MPγPNAs is not toxic to the cells. The findings reported in this study provide a combination of γPNA technology and PLGA-based nanoparticle delivery method for regulating gene expression in live cells via the antisense mechanism.
We have developed an assay for single strand DNA and RNA detection which is based on novel pyrene−perylene FRET pairs attached to short LNA/DNA probes. The assay is based on ratiometric emission upon binding of target DNA/RNA by three combinations of fluorescent LNA/DNA reporter strands. Specific geometry of the pyrene fluorophore attached to the 2′-amino group of 2′-amino-LNA in position 4 allows for the first time to efficiently utilize dipole−dipole orientation parameter for sensing of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in nucleic acid targets by FRET. Using novel probes, SNP detection is achieved with advantages of large Stokes shift (115 nm), high fluorescence quantum yields and low limit of target detection values (< 5 nM). Rapid and accurate genotyping of highly polymorphic HIV Pol cDNA and RNA fragments performed herein proves the possibility for broad application of the novel pyrene−perylene FRET pairs, e.g., in imaging and clinical diagnostics.
As a proof-of-principle, two hetero-bimetallic PNA oligomers containing a ruthenium(II) polypyridyl and a cyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl complex have been prepared by serial combination of solid-phase peptide coupling and in-solution thiol chemistry. Solid-phase N-terminus attachment of Ru(II)-polypyridyl carboxylic acid derivative, C1, onto the thiol-functionalized PNA backbone (H-a-a-g-t-c-t-g-c-linker-cys-NH2) has been performed by standard peptide coupling method. As two parallel approaches, the strong affinity of thiols for maleimide and haloacetyl group has been exploited for subsequent post-SPPS addition of cymantrene-based organometallic cores, C2 and C3. Michael-like addition and thioether ligation of thiol functionalized PNA1 (H-gly-a-a-g-t-c-t-g-c-linker-cys-NH2) and PNA2 (C1-a-a-g-t-c-t-g-c-linker-cys-NH2) to cymantrene maleimide and chloroacetyl derivatives, C2 and C3, respectively, has been performed. The synthesized ruthenium(II)-cymantrenyl PNA oligomers have been characterized by mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and IR spectroscopy. The distinct Mn-CO vibrational IR stretches, between 1,924–2,074 cm−1, have been used as markers to confirm the presence of cymantrenyl units in the PNA sequences and the purity of the HPLC-purified PNA thioethers assessed using LC-MS.
We have developed an assay for single strand DNA or RNA detection which is based on the homo-DNA templated Staudinger reduction of the profluorophore rhodamine-azide. The assay is based on a three component system, consisting of a homo-DNA/DNA hybrid probe, a set of homo-DNA reporter strands and the target DNA or RNA. We present two different formats of the assay (Omega probe and linear probe) in which the linear probe was found to perform best with catalytic turnover of the reporter strands (TON: 8) and a match/mismatch discrimination of up to 19. The advantage of this system is that the reporting (homo-DNA) and sensing (DNA) domain are decoupled from each other since the two pairing systems are bioorthogonal. This allows independent optimization of either domain which may lead to higher selectivity in in vivo imaging.