What drives the binding of minor groove-directed ligands to DNA hairpins?
ABSTRACT: Understanding the molecular basis of ligand-DNA-binding events, and its application to the rational design of novel drugs, requires knowledge of the structural features and forces that drive the corresponding recognition processes. Existing structural evidence on DNA complexation with classical minor groove-directed ligands and the corresponding studies of binding energetics have suggested that this type of binding can be described as a rigid-body association. In contrast, we show here that the binding-coupled conformational changes may be crucial for the interpretation of DNA (hairpin) association with a classical minor groove binder (netropsin). We found that, although the hairpin form is the only accessible state of ligand-free DNA, its association with the ligand may lead to its transition into a duplex conformation. It appears that formation of the fully ligated duplex from the ligand-free hairpin, occurring via two pathways, is enthalpically driven and accompanied by a significant contribution of the hydrophobic effect. Our thermodynamic and structure-based analysis, together with corresponding theoretical studies, shows that none of the predicted binding steps can be considered as a rigid-body association. In this light we anticipate our thermodynamic approach to be the basis of more sophisticated nucleic acid recognition mechanisms, which take into account the dynamic nature of both the nucleic acid and the ligand molecule.
Project description:Monomeric, dimeric, and trimeric derivatives of the triphenylmethane dye crystal violet (1a-1f) have been synthesized for the purpose of evaluating their affinity and sequence selectivity for duplex DNA. Competitive ethidum displacement assays indicate that 1a-1f have apparent association constants for CT DNA in the range of 1.80-16.2?×?107?M-1 and binding site sizes of 10-14?bp. Viscosity experiments performed on ligand 1f confirmed that these dyes associate with duplex DNA by a non-intercalative mode of binding. Circular dichroism and competition binding studies of the tightest binding ligand 1e with known major and minor groove binding molecules suggest that these dye derivatives likely occupy the major groove of DNA. Data from the binding of 1e to polynucleotides indicate close to an order of magnitude preference for associating with AT rich homopolymers over GC rich homopolymers, suggesting a shape-selective match of the sterically bulky ligand with DNA containing a wider major groove.
Project description:It is fundamental to explore in atomic detail the behavior of DNA triple helices as a means to understand the role they might play in vivo and to better engineer their use in genetic technologies, such as antigene therapy. To this aim we have performed atomistic simulations of a purine-rich antiparallel triple helix stretch of 10 base triplets flanked by canonical Watson-Crick double helices. At the same time we have explored the thermodynamic behavior of a flipping Watson-Crick base pair in the context of the triple and double helix. The third strand can be accommodated in a B-like duplex conformation. Upon binding, the double helix changes shape, and becomes more rigid. The triple-helical region increases its major groove width mainly by oversliding in the negative direction. The resulting conformations are somewhere between the A and B conformations with base pairs remaining almost perpendicular to the helical axis. The neighboring duplex regions maintain a B DNA conformation. Base pair opening in the duplex regions is more probable than in the triplex and binding of the Hoogsteen strand does not influence base pair breathing in the neighboring duplex region.
Project description:High-resolution crystal structures of the DNA duplex sequence d(CGCGAATTCGCG)(2) complexed with three minor-groove ligands are reported. A highly conserved cluster of 11 linked water molecules has been found in the native and all 3 ligand-bound structures, positioned at the boundary of the A/T and G/C regions where the minor groove widens. This cluster appears to play a key structural role in stabilizing noncovalently binding small molecules in the AT region of the B-DNA minor groove. The cluster extends from the backbone phosphate groups along the mouth of the groove and links to DNA and ligands by a network of hydrogen bonds that help to maintain the ligands in position. This arrangement of water molecules is distinct from, but linked by, hydrogen bonding to the well-established spine of hydration, which is displaced by bound ligands. Features of the water cluster and observed differences in binding modes help to explain the measured binding affinities and thermodynamic characteristics of these ligands on binding to AT sites in DNA.
Project description:Molecular dynamics simulations have been performed on netropsin in two different charge states and on distamycin binding to the minor groove of the DNA duplex d(CGCGAAAAACGCG).d(CGCGTTTTTCGCG). The relative free energy of binding of the two non-covalently interacting ligands was calculated using the thermodynamic integration method and reflects the experimental result. From 2 ns simulations of the ligands free in solution and when bound to DNA, the mobility and the hydrogen-bonding patterns of the ligands were studied, as well as their hydration. It is shown that even though distamycin is less hydrated than netropsin, the loss of ligand-solvent interactions is very similar for both ligands. The relative mobilities of the ligands in their bound and free forms indicate a larger entropic penalty for distamycin when binding to the minor groove compared with netropsin, partially explaining the lower binding affinity of the distamycin molecule. The detailed structural and energetic insights obtained from the molecular dynamics simulations allow for a better understanding of the factors determining ligand-DNA binding.
Project description:The crystal structure of a B-type DNA hexanucleotide duplex complexed with the porphyrin molecule nickel-[tetra-N-methyl-pyridyl] porphyrin has been solved by multiwavelength anomalous diffraction phasing and refined to an R factor of 11.5% at a resolution of 0.9 A. The structure has been solved and refined as two crystallographically independent duplexes, stacked end to end. Contrary to expectation, the porphyrin molecule is not intercalated into the duplex but is stacked onto the ends of the two-duplex stack. The porphyrin molecule is highly buckled as a consequence of the nickel coordination, which produces large changes in local DNA structure. A second mode of porphyrin binding is apparent as a consequence of crystal packing, which places the ligand in the minor groove of an adjacent duplex. This structure thus provides, to our knowledge, the first atomic visualization of minor-groove binding for a porphyrin molecule. The geometry of groove binding provides a ready explanation for porphyrin-induced DNA strand cleavage at deoxyribose residues.
Project description:Gene expression can be altered by small molecules that target DNA; sequence as well as shape selectivities are both extremely important for DNA recognition by intercalating and groove-binding ligands. We have characterized a carbohydrate scaffold (1) exhibiting DNA "shape readout" properties. Thermodynamic studies with 1 and model duplex DNAs demonstrate the molecule's high affinity and selectivity towards B* form (continuous AT-rich) DNA. Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), circular dichroism (CD) titration, ultraviolet (UV) thermal denaturation, and Differential Scanning Calorimetry were used to characterize the binding of 1 with a B* form AT-rich DNA duplex d[5'-G2 A6 T6 C2 -3']. The binding constant was determined using ITC at various temperatures, salt concentrations, and pH. ITC titrations were fit using a two-binding site model. The first binding event was shown to have a 1:1 binding stoichiometry and was predominantly entropy-driven with a binding constant of approximately 10(8) M(-1) . ITC-derived binding enthalpies were used to obtain the binding-induced change in heat capacity (?Cp ) of -225?±?19 cal/mol·K. The ionic strength dependence of the binding constant indicated a significant electrolytic contribution in ligand:DNA binding, with approximately four to five ion pairs involved in binding. Ligand 1 displayed a significantly higher affinity towards AT-tract DNA over sequences containing GC inserts, and binding experiments revealed the order of binding affinity for 1 with DNA duplexes: contiguous B* form AT-rich DNA (d[5'-G2 A6 T6 C2 -3']) >B form alternate AT-rich DNA (d[5'-G2 (AT)6 C2- 3'])?>?A form GC-rich DNA (d[5'-A2 G6 C6 T2 -3']), demonstrating the preference of ligand 1 for B* form DNA.
Project description:Hybrids of RNA and arabinonucleic acid (ANA) as well as the 2'-fluoro-ANA analog (2'F-ANA) were recently shown to be substrates of the enzyme RNase H. Although RNase H binds to double-stranded RNA, no cleavage occurs with such duplexes. Therefore, knowledge of the structure of ANA/RNA hybrids may prove helpful in the design of future antisense oligonucleotide analogs. In this study, we have determined the NMR solution structures of ANA/RNA and DNA/RNA hairpin duplexes and compared them to the recently published structure of a 2'F-ANA/RNA hairpin duplex. We demonstrate here that the sugars of RNA nucleotides of the ANA/RNA hairpin stem adopt the C3'-endo (north, A-form) conformation, whereas those of the ANA strand adopt a 'rigid' O4'-endo (east) sugar pucker. The DNA strand of the DNA/RNA hairpin stem is flexible, but the average DNA/RNA hairpin structural parameters are close to the ANA/RNA and 2'F-ANA/RNA hairpin parameters. The minor groove width of ANA/RNA, 2'F-ANA/RNA and DNA/RNA helices is 9.0 +/- 0.5 A, a value that is intermediate between that of A- and B-form duplexes. These results rationalize the ability of ANA/RNA and 2'F-ANA/RNA hybrids to elicit RNase H activity.
Project description:The crystal structure of Rad4/Rad23, the yeast homolog of the human nucleotide excision repair (NER) lesion recognition factor XPC-RAD23B ( Min , J. H. and Pavletich , N. P. ( 2007 ) Nature 449 , 570 - 575 ) reveals that the lesion-partner base is flipped out of the helix and binds to amino acids of the protein. This suggests the hypothesis that the flipping of this partner base must overcome a free energy barrier, which constitutes one element contributing to changes in the thermodynamic properties induced by the DNA damage and sensed by the recognition protein. We explored this hypothesis by computing complete flipping free energy profiles for two lesions derived from the procarcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dibenzo[a,l]pyrene (DB[a,l]P) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), R-trans-anti-DB[a,l]P-N(6)-dA (R-DB[a,l]P-dA) and R-trans-anti-B[a]P-N(6)-dA (R-B[a]P-dA), and the corresponding unmodified duplex. The DB[a,l]P and B[a]P adducts differ in number and organization of their aromatic rings. We integrate these results with prior profiles for the R-trans-anti-DB[a,l]P-dG adduct ( Zheng , H. et al. ( 2010 ) Chem. Res. Toxicol. 23 , 1868 - 1870 ). All adopt conformational themes involving intercalation of the PAH aromatic ring system into the DNA duplex; however, R-DB[a,l]P-dA and R-B[a]P-dA intercalate from the major groove, while R-DB[a,l]P-dG intercalates from the minor groove. These structural differences produce different computed van der Waals stacking interaction energies between the flipping partner base with the lesion aromatic ring system and adjacent bases; we find that the better the stacking, the higher the relative flipping free energy barrier and hence lower flipping probability. The better relative NER susceptibilities correlate with greater ease of flipping in these three differently intercalated lesions. In addition to partner base flipping, the Rad4/Rad23 crystal structure shows that a protein-?-hairpin, BHD3, intrudes from the major groove side between the DNA strands at the lesion site. We present a molecular modeling study for the R-DB[a,l]P-dG lesion in Rad4/Rad23 showing BHD3 ?-hairpin intrusion with lesion eviction, and we hypothesize that lesion steric effects play a role in the recognition of intercalated adducts.
Project description:A DNA fragment d(GCGAAAGCT), known to adopt a stable mini-hairpin structure in solution, has been crystallized in the space group I4(1)22 with the unit-cell dimensions a = b = 53.4 A and c = 54.0 A, and the crystal structure has been determined at 2.5 A resolution. The four nucleotide residues CGAA of the first half of the oligomer form a parallel duplex with another half through the homo base pairs, C2:C2+ (singly-protonated between the Watson- Crick sites), G3:G3 (between the minor groove sites), A4:A4 (between the major groove sites) and A5:A5 (between the Watson-Crick sites). The two strands remaining in the half of the parallel duplex are split away in different directions, and they pair in an anti-parallel B-form duplex with the second half extending from a neighboring parallel duplex, so that an infinite column is formed in a head-to-tail fashion along the c-axis. It seems that a hexa-ammine cobalt cation supports such a branched and bent conformation of the oligomer. One end of the parallel duplex is stacked on the corresponding end of the adjacent parallel duplex; between them, the guanine base of the first residue is stacked on the fourth ribose of another duplex.
Project description:Although BRACO19 is a potent G-quadruplex binder, its potential for clinical usage is hindered by its low selectivity towards DNA G-quadruplex over duplex. High-resolution structures of BRACO19 in complex with neither single-stranded telomeric DNA G-quadruplexes nor B-DNA duplex are available. In this study, the binding pathway of BRACO19 was probed by 27.5 µs molecular dynamics binding simulations with a free ligand (BRACO19) to a DNA duplex and three different topological folds of the human telomeric DNA G-quadruplex (parallel, anti-parallel and hybrid). The most stable binding modes were identified as end stacking and groove binding for the DNA G-quadruplexes and duplex, respectively. Among the three G-quadruplex topologies, the MM-GBSA binding energy analysis suggested that BRACO19's binding to the parallel scaffold was most energetically favorable. The two lines of conflicting evidence plus our binding energy data suggest conformation-selection mechanism: the relative population shift of three scaffolds upon BRACO19 binding (i.e., an increase of population of parallel scaffold, a decrease of populations of antiparallel and/or hybrid scaffold). This hypothesis appears to be consistent with the fact that BRACO19 was specifically designed based on the structural requirements of the parallel scaffold and has since proven effective against a variety of cancer cell lines as well as toward a number of scaffolds. In addition, this binding mode is only slightly more favorable than BRACO19s binding to the duplex, explaining the low binding selectivity of BRACO19 to G-quadruplexes over duplex DNA. Our detailed analysis suggests that BRACO19's groove binding mode may not be stable enough to maintain a prolonged binding event and that the groove binding mode may function as an intermediate state preceding a more energetically favorable end stacking pose; base flipping played an important role in enhancing binding interactions, an integral feature of an induced fit binding mechanism.