NMR structure of an alpha-L-LNA:RNA hybrid: structural implications for RNase H recognition.
ABSTRACT: Alpha-L-LNA (alpha-L-ribo configured locked nucleic acid) is a nucleotide analogue that raises the thermostability of nucleic acid duplexes by up to approximately 4 degrees C per inclusion. We have determined the NMR structure of a nonamer alpha-L-LNA:RNA hybrid with three alpha-L-LNA modifications. The geometry of this hybrid is intermediate between A- and B-type, all nucleobases partake in Watson-Crick base pairing and base stacking, and the global structure is very similar to that of the corresponding unmodified hybrid. The sugar-phosphate backbone is rearranged in the vicinity of the modified nucleotides. As a consequence, the phosphate groups following the modified nucleotides are rotated into the minor groove. It is interesting that the alpha-L-LNA:RNA hybrid, which has an elevation in melting temperature of 17 degrees C relative to the corresponding DNA:RNA hybrid, retains the global structure of this hybrid. To our knowledge, this is the first example of such a substantial increase in melting temperature of a nucleic acid analogue that does not act as an N-type (RNA) mimic. alpha-L-LNA:RNA hybrids are recognised by RNase H with subsequent cleavage of the RNA strand, albeit with slow rates. We attempt to rationalise this impaired enzyme activity from the rearrangement of the sugar-phosphate backbone of the alpha-L-LNA:RNA hybrid.
Project description:We report the structure activity relationships of short 14-mer phosphorothioate gapmer antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) modified with α-L-locked nucleic acid (LNA) and related modifications targeting phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN) messenger RNA in mice. α-L-LNA represents the α-anomer of enantio-LNA and modified oligonucleotides show LNA like binding affinity for complementary RNA. In contrast to sequence matched LNA gapmer ASOs which showed elevations in plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels indicative of hepatotoxicity, gapmer ASOs modified with α-L-LNA and related analogs in the flanks showed potent downregulation of PTEN messenger RNA in liver tissue without producing elevations in plasma ALT levels. However, the α-L-LNA ASO showed a moderate dose-dependent increase in liver and spleen weights suggesting a higher propensity for immune stimulation. Interestingly, replacing α-L-LNA nucleotides in the 3'- and 5'-flanks with R-5'-Me-α-L-LNA but not R-6'-Me- or 3'-Me-α-L-LNA nucleotides, reversed the drug induced increase in organ weights. Examination of structural models of dinucleotide units suggested that the 5'-Me group increases steric bulk in close proximity to the phosphorothioate backbone or produces subtle changes in the backbone conformation which could interfere with recognition of the ASO by putative immune receptors. Our data suggests that introducing steric bulk at the 5'-position of the sugar-phosphate backbone could be a general strategy to mitigate the immunostimulatory profile of oligonucleotide drugs. In a clinical setting, proinflammatory effects manifest themselves as injection site reactions and flu-like symptoms. Thus, a mitigation of these effects could increase patient comfort and compliance when treated with ASOs.Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids (2012) 1, e47; doi:10.1038/mtna.2012.34; published online 18 September 2012.
Project description:Locked nucleic acid (LNA) is a chemically modified nucleic acid with its sugar ring locked in an RNA-like (C3'-endo) conformation. LNAs show extraordinary thermal stabilities when hybridized with DNA, RNA or LNA itself. We performed molecular dynamics simulations on five isosequential duplexes (LNA-DNA, LNA-LNA, LNA-RNA, RNA-DNA and RNA-RNA) in order to characterize their structure, dynamics and hydration. Structurally, the LNA-DNA and LNA-RNA duplexes are found to be similar to regular RNA-DNA and RNA-RNA duplexes, whereas the LNA-LNA duplex is found to have its helix partly unwound and does not resemble RNA-RNA duplex in a number of properties. Duplexes with an LNA strand have on average longer interstrand phosphate distances compared to RNA-DNA and RNA-RNA duplexes. Furthermore, intrastrand phosphate distances in LNA strands are found to be shorter than in DNA and slightly shorter than in RNA. In case of induced sugar puckering, LNA is found to tune the sugar puckers in partner DNA strand toward C3'-endo conformations more efficiently than RNA. The LNA-LNA duplex has lesser backbone flexibility compared to the RNA-RNA duplex. Finally, LNA is less hydrated compared to DNA or RNA but is found to have a well-organized water structure.
Project description:We have determined the NMR solution structures of the quadruplexes formed by d(TGLGLT) and d(TL4T), where L denotes LNA (locked nucleic acid) modified G-residues. Both structures are tetrameric, parallel and right-handed and the native global fold of the corresponding DNA quadruplex is retained upon introduction of the LNA nucleotides. However, local structural alterations are observed owing to the locked LNA sugars. In particular, a distinct change in the sugar-phosphate backbone is observed at the G2pL3 and L2pL3 base steps and sequence dependent changes in the twist between tetrads are also seen. Both the LNA modified quadruplexes have raised thermostability as compared to the DNA quadruplex. The quadruplex-forming capability of d(TGLGLT) is of particular interest as it expands the design flexibility for stable parallel LNA quadruplexes and shows that LNA nucleotides can be mixed with DNA or other modified nucleic acids. As such, LNA-based quadruplexes can be decorated by a variety of chemical modifications. Such LNA quadruplex scaffolds might find applications in the developing field of nanobiotechnology.
Project description:The question of whether RNA is more stable or unstable compared to DNA or other nucleic acids has long been a subject of extensive scrutiny and public attention. Recently, thermodynamically stable and degradation-resistant RNA motifs have been utilized in RNA nanotechnology to build desired architectures and integrate multiple functional groups. Here we report the effects of phosphorothioate deoxyribonucleotides (PS-DNA), deoxyribonucleotides (DNA), ribonucleotides (RNA), 2'-F nucleotides (2'-F), and locked nucleic acids (LNA) on the thermal and in vivo stability of the three-way junction (3WJ) of bacteriophage phi29 motor packaging RNA. It was found that the thermal stability gradually increased following the order of PS-DNA/PS-DNA < DNA/DNA < DNA/RNA < RNA/RNA < RNA/2'-F RNA < 2'-F RNA/2'-F RNA < 2'-F RNA/LNA < LNA/LNA. This proposition is supported by studies on strand displacement and the melting of homogeneous and heterogeneous 3WJs. By simply mixing different chemically modified oligonucleotides, the thermal stability of phi29 pRNA 3WJ can be tuned to cover a wide range of melting temperatures from 21.2°C to over 95°C. The 3WJLNA was resistant to boiling temperature denaturation, urea denaturation, and 50% serum degradation. Intravenous injection of fluorescent LNA/2'-F hybrid 3WJs into mice revealed its exceptional in vivo stability and presence in urine. It is thus concluded that incorporation of LNA nucleotides, alone or in combination with 2'-F, into RNA nanoparticles derived from phi29 pRNA 3WJ can extend the half-life of the RNA nanoparticles in vivo and improve their pharmacokinetics profile.
Project description:The locked nucleic acid (LNA) monomer is a conformationally restricted nucleotide analogue with an extra 2'-O,4'-C-methylene bridge added to the ribose ring. Oligonucleotides that contain LNA monomers have shown greatly enhanced thermal stability when hybridized to complementary DNA and RNA and are considered most promising candidates for efficient recognition of a given mixed sequence in a nucleic acid duplex and as an antisense molecule. Here the kinetics and thermodynamics of a series of oligonucleotide duplex formations of DNA-DNA and DNA-LNA octamers were studied using stopped-flow absorption measurements at 25 degrees C and melting curves. The reactions of the DNA octamer 5'-CAGGAGCA-3' with its complementary DNA octamer 5'-TGCTCCTG-3', and with the LNA octamers 5'-T(L)GCTCCTG-3' (LNA-1), 5'-T(L)GCT(L)CCTG-3' (LNA-2) and 5'-T(L)GCT(L)CCT(L)G-3'(LNA-3), containing respectively one, two or three thymidine 2'-O,4'-C-methylene-(D-ribofuranosyl) nucleotide monomers, designated T(L), were studied. In all cases were seen fast second-order association reactions with k(obs)=2x10(7) M(-1)s(-1). At 25 degrees C the dissociation constants of the duplexes obtained from melting curves were: DNA-DNA, 10 nM; DNA-LNA-1, 20 nM; DNA-LNA-2, 2 nM; and DNA-LNA-3, 0.3 nM; thus the greatly enhanced duplex stability induced by LNA is confirmed. Since the association rates were all equal this increase in stability is due to slower rates of dissociation of the complexes.
Project description:Oligonucleotides (ON) are promising therapeutic candidates, for instance by blocking endogenous mRNA (antisense mechanism). However, ON usually require structural modifications of the native nucleic acid backbone to ensure satisfying pharmacokinetic properties. One such strategy to design novel antisense oligonucleotides is to replace native phosphate diester units by positively charged artificial linkages, thus leading to (partially) zwitterionic backbone structures. Herein, we report a "gapmer" architecture comprised of one zwitterionic central segment ("gap") containing nucleosyl amino acid (NAA) modifications and two outer segments of locked nucleic acid (LNA). This NAA/LNA-gapmer approach furnished a partially zwitterionic ON with optimised properties: i) the formation of stable ON-RNA duplexes with base-pairing fidelity and superior target selectivity at 37?°C; and ii) excellent stability in complex biological media. Overall, the NAA/LNA-gapmer approach is thus established as a strategy to design partially zwitterionic ON for the future development of novel antisense agents.
Project description:Despite the importance of local structural detail to a mechanistic understanding of RNA catalysis and binding functions, RNA backbone conformation has been quite recalcitrant to analysis. There are too many variable torsion angles per residue, and their raw empirical distributions are poorly clustered. This study applies quality-filtering techniques (using resolution, crystallographic B factor, and all-atom steric clashes) to the backbone torsion angle distributions from an 8,636-residue RNA database. With noise levels greatly reduced, clear signal appears for the underlying angle preferences. Half-residue torsion angle distributions for alpha-beta-gamma and for delta-epsilon-zeta are plotted and contoured in 3D; each shows about a dozen distinct peaks, which can then be combined in pairs to define complete RNA backbone conformers. Traditional nucleic acid residues are defined from phosphate to phosphate, but here we use a base-to-base (or sugar-to-sugar) division into "suites" to parse the RNA backbone repeats, both because most backbone steric clashes are within suites and because the relationship of successive bases is both reliably determined and conformationally important. A suite conformer has seven variables, with sugar pucker specified at both ends. Potential suite conformers were omitted if not represented by at least a small cluster of convincing data points after application of quality filters. The final result is a small library of 42 RNA backbone conformers, which should provide valid conformations for nearly all RNA backbone encountered in experimental structures.
Project description:"Locked nucleic acids" (LNAs) belong to the backbone-modified nucleic acid family. The 2'-O,4'-C-methylene-β-D-ribofuranose nucleotides are used for single or multiple substitutions in RNA molecules and thereby introduce enhanced bio- and thermostability. This renders LNAs powerful tools for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. RNA molecules maintain the overall canonical A-type conformation upon substitution of single or multiple residues/nucleotides by LNA monomers. The structures of "all" LNA homoduplexes, however, exhibit significant differences in their overall geometry, in particular a decreased twist, roll and propeller twist. This results in a widening of the major groove, a decrease in helical winding, and an enlarged helical pitch. Therefore, the LNA duplex structure can no longer be described as a canonical A-type RNA geometry but can rather be brought into proximity to other backbone-modified nucleic acids, like glycol nucleic acids or peptide nucleic acids. LNA-modified nucleic acids provide thus structural and functional features that may be successfully exploited for future application in biotechnology and drug discovery.
Project description:Modern terran life uses several essential biopolymers like nucleic acids, proteins and polysaccharides. The nucleic acids, DNA and RNA are arguably life's most important, acting as the stores and translators of genetic information contained in their base sequences, which ultimately manifest themselves in the amino acid sequences of proteins. But just what is it about their structures; an aromatic heterocyclic base appended to a (five-atom ring) sugar-phosphate backbone that enables them to carry out these functions with such high fidelity? In the past three decades, leading chemists have created in their laboratories synthetic analogues of nucleic acids which differ from their natural counterparts in three key areas as follows: (a) replacement of the phosphate moiety with an uncharged analogue, (b) replacement of the pentose sugars ribose and deoxyribose with alternative acyclic, pentose and hexose derivatives and, finally, (c) replacement of the two heterocyclic base pairs adenine/thymine and guanine/cytosine with non-standard analogues that obey the Watson-Crick pairing rules. This manuscript will examine in detail the physical and chemical properties of these synthetic nucleic acid analogues, in particular on their abilities to serve as conveyors of genetic information. If life exists elsewhere in the universe, will it also use DNA and RNA?
Project description:Peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) are oligonucleotide analogues in which the sugar-phosphate backbone has been replaced by a pseudopeptide skeleton. They bind DNA and RNA with high specificity and selectivity, leading to PNA-RNA and PNA-DNA hybrids more stable than the corresponding nucleic acid complexes. The binding affinity and selectivity of PNAs for nucleic acids can be modified by the introduction of stereogenic centers (such as D-Lys-based units) into the PNA backbone. To investigate the structural features of chiral PNAs, the structure of a PNA decamer containing three D-Lys-based monomers (namely H-GpnTpnApnGpnAdlTdlCdlApnCpnTpn-NH2, in which pn represents a pseudopeptide link and dl represents a D-Lys analogue) hybridized with its complementary antiparallel DNA has been solved at a 1.66-A resolution by means of a single-wavelength anomalous diffraction experiment on a brominated derivative. The D-Lys-based chiral PNA-DNA (LPD) heteroduplex adopts the so-called P-helix conformation. From the substantial similarity between the PNA conformation in LPD and the conformations observed in other PNA structures, it can be concluded that PNAs possess intrinsic conformational preferences for the P-helix, and that their flexibility is rather restricted. The conformational rigidity of PNAs is enhanced by the presence of the chiral centers, limiting the ability of PNA strands to adopt other conformations and, ultimately, increasing the selectivity in molecular recognition.