Investigation of B-Z transitions with DNA oligonucleotides containing 8-methylguanine
Among various Z-form DNA inducers, such as transition metal complexes, polyamines and high ionic concentrations, 8-methylguanine have received attention as efficient chemical modifications. Although it is clear that m8–modified guanine base markedly stabilizes the Z conformation of short oligonucleotides under physiological salt conditions, how sequence composition affects the preference of Z-DNA is still not well established. In this study, various oligomers of d(CG)n or d(GC)n containing either 8-methylguanine in a different position were synthesized and their capacity of stabilizing Z-DNA were evaluated by CD spectra and then compared with each other. It is was found out that the Z-DNA stabilizing effect depend on the order of arrangement of m8G and m8rG in DNA strands and the center position is the most effective to stabilize the Z-DNA and promote the B to Z transition.
Universal strategies for the DNA-encoding of libraries of small molecules using the chemical ligation of oligonucleotide tags
The affinity-mediated selection of large libraries of DNA-encoded small molecules is increasingly being used to initiate drug discovery programs. We present universal methods for the encoding of such libraries using the chemical ligation of oligonucleotides. These methods may be used to record the chemical history of individual library members during combinatorial synthesis processes. We demonstrate three different chemical ligation methods as examples of information recording processes (writing) for such libraries and two different cDNA-generation methods as examples of information retrieval processes (reading) from such libraries. The example writing methods include uncatalyzed and Cu(I)-catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloadditions and a novel photochemical thymidine-psoralen cycloaddition. The first reading method “relay primer-dependent bypass” utilizes a relay primer that hybridizes across a chemical ligation junction embedded in a fixed-sequence and is extended at its 3′-terminus prior to ligation to adjacent oligonucleotides. The second reading method “repeat-dependent bypass” utilizes chemical ligation junctions that are flanked by repeated sequences. The upstream repeat is copied prior to a rearrangement event during which the 3′-terminus of the cDNA hybridizes to the downstream repeat and polymerization continues. In principle these reading methods may be used with any ligation chemistry and offer universal strategies for the encoding (writing) and interpretation (reading) of DNA-encoded chemical libraries.
Improved bioactivity of G-rich triplex-forming oligonucleotides containing modified guanine bases
Triplex structures generated by sequence-specific triplex-forming oligonucleotides (TFOs) have proven to be promising tools for gene targeting strategies. In addition, triplex technology has been highly utilized to study the molecular mechanisms of DNA repair, recombination and mutagenesis. However, triplex formation utilizing guanine-rich oligonucleotides as third strands can be inhibited by potassium-induced self-association resulting in G-quadruplex formation. We report here that guanine-rich TFOs partially substituted with 8-aza-7-deaza-guanine (PPG) have improved target site binding in potassium compared with TFOs containing the natural guanine base. We designed PPG-substituted TFOs to bind to a polypurine sequence in the supFG1 reporter gene. The binding efficiency of PPG-substituted TFOs to the target sequence was analyzed using electrophoresis mobility gel shift assays. We have determined that in the presence of potassium, the non-substituted TFO, AG30 did not bind to its target sequence, however binding was observed with the PPG-substituted AG30 under conditions with up to 140 mM KCl. The PPG-TFOs were able to maintain their ability to induce genomic modifications as measured by an assay for gene-targeted mutagenesis. In addition, these compounds were capable of triplex-induced DNA double strand breaks, which resulted in activation of apoptosis.
Enhanced splice correction by 3′, 5′-serinol and 2′-(ω-O-methylserinol) guarded OMe-RNA/DNA mixmers in cells
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.
Improvement of sequence selectivity in triple helical recognition of RNA by phenylalanine-derived PNA
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.
Nanoparticle for delivery of antisense γPNA oligomers targeting CCR5
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.