Invader LNA: efficient targeting of short double stranded DNA.
ABSTRACT: Despite progress with triplex-forming oligonucleotides or helix-invading peptide nucleic acids (PNAs), there remains a need for probes facilitating sequence-unrestricted targeting of double stranded DNA (dsDNA) at physiologically relevant conditions. Invader LNA probes, i.e., DNA duplexes with "+1 interstrand zipper arrangements" of intercalator-functionalized 2'-amino-alpha-l-LNA monomers, are demonstrated herein to recognize short mixed sequence dsDNA targets. This approach, like pseudo-complementary PNA (pcPNA), relies on relative differences in stability between probe duplexes and the corresponding probe:target duplexes for generation of a favourable thermodynamic gradient. Unlike pcPNA, Invader LNA probes take advantage of the "nearest neighbour exclusion principle", i.e., intercalating units of Invader LNA monomers are poorly accommodated in probe duplexes but extraordinarily well tolerated in probe-target duplexes (DeltaT(m)/modification up to +11.5 degrees C). Recognition of isosequential dsDNA-targets occurs: a) at experimental temperatures much lower than the thermal denaturation temperatures (T(m)'s) of Invader LNAs or dsDNA-targets, b) at a wide range of ionic strengths, and c) with good mismatch discrimination. Recognition of dsDNA is monitored in real-time using inherent pyrene-pyrene excimer signals of Invader LNA probes, which provides insights into reaction kinetics and enables rational design of probes. These properties render Invader LNAs as promising probes for biomedical applications entailing sequence-unrestricted recognition of dsDNA.
Project description:The development of synthetic agents that recognize double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) is a long-standing goal that is inspired by the promise for tools that detect, regulate, and modify genes. Progress has been made with triplex-forming oligonucleotides, peptide nucleic acids, and polyamides, but substantial efforts are currently devoted to the development of alternative strategies that overcome the limitations observed with the classic approaches. In 2005, we introduced Invader locked nucleic acids (LNAs), i.e., double-stranded probes that are activated for mixed-sequence recognition of dsDNA through modification with "+1 interstrand zippers" of 2'-N-(pyren-1-yl)methyl-2'-amino-?-l-LNA monomers. Despite promising preliminary results, progress has been slow because of the synthetic complexity of the building blocks. Here we describe a study that led to the identification of two simpler classes of Invader monomers. We compare the thermal denaturation characteristics of double-stranded probes featuring different interstrand zippers of pyrene-functionalized monomers based on 2'-amino-?-l-LNA, 2'-N-methyl-2'-amino-DNA, and RNA scaffolds. Insights from fluorescence spectroscopy, molecular modeling, and NMR spectroscopy are used to elucidate the structural factors that govern probe activation. We demonstrate that probes with +1 zippers of 2'-O-(pyren-1-yl)methyl-RNA or 2'-N-methyl-2'-N-(pyren-1-yl)methyl-2'-amino-DNA monomers recognize DNA hairpins with similar efficiency as original Invader LNAs. Access to synthetically simple monomers will accelerate the use of Invader-mediated dsDNA recognition for applications in molecular biology and nucleic acid diagnostics.
Project description:Development of probes that allow for sequence-unrestricted recognition of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) continues to attract much attention due to the prospect for molecular tools that enable detection, regulation, and manipulation of genes. We have recently introduced so-called Invader probes as alternatives to more established approaches such as triplex-forming oligonucleotides, peptide nucleic acids and polyamides. These short DNA duplexes are activated for dsDNA recognition by installment of +1 interstrand zippers of intercalator-functionalized nucleotides such as 2'-N-(pyren-1-yl)methyl-2'-N-methyl-2'-aminouridine and 2'-O-(pyren-1-yl)methyluridine, which results in violation of the nearest neighbor exclusion principle and duplex destabilization. The individual probes strands have high affinity toward complementary DNA strands, which generates the driving force for recognition of mixed-sequence dsDNA regions. In the present article, we characterize Invader probes that are based on phosphorothioate backbones (PS-DNA Invaders). The change from the regular phosphodiester backbone furnishes Invader probes that are much more stable to nucleolytic degradation, while displaying acceptable dsDNA-recognition efficiency. PS-DNA Invader probes therefore present themselves as interesting probes for dsDNA-targeting applications in cellular environments and living organisms.
Project description:Development of hybridization-based probes that enable recognition of specific mixed-sequence double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) regions is of considerable interest due to their potential applications in molecular biology, biotechnology, and medicine. We have recently demonstrated that nucleic acid duplexes with +1 interstrand zipper arrangements of intercalator-functionalized nucleotides such as 2'-O-(pyren-1-yl)methyl RNA monomers are inherently activated for recognition of mixed-sequence dsDNA targets, including chromosomal DNA. In the present work, we follow up on our previous structure-activity relationship studies and explore if the dsDNA-recognition efficiency of these so-called Invader probes can be improved by using larger intercalators than pyrene. Oligodeoxyribonucleotides modified with 2'-O-(triphenylen-2-yl)methyl-uridine monomer X and 2'-O-(coronen-1-yl)methyl-uridine monomer Z form extraordinarily stabilized duplexes with complementary DNA (?Tm's per modification of up to 13 °C and 20 °C, respectively). Invader probes based on X- and Z-monomers are shown to recognize model dsDNA targets with exceptional binding specificity, but are less efficient than reference probes modified with 2'-O-(pyren-1-yl)methyl-uridine monomer Y. The insight from this study will inform further optimization of Invader probes.
Project description:The development of agents that recognize mixed-sequence double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) is desirable because of their potential as tools for detection, regulation, and modification of genes. Despite progress with triplex-forming oligonucleotides, peptide nucleic acids, polyamides, and other approaches, recognition of mixed-sequence dsDNA targets remains challenging. Our laboratory studies Invaders as an alternative approach toward this end. These double-stranded oligonucleotide probes are activated for recognition of mixed-sequence dsDNA through modification with +1 interstrand zippers of intercalator-functionalized nucleotides such as 2'-O-(pyren-1-yl)methyl-RNA monomers and have recently been shown to recognize linear dsDNA, DNA hairpins, and chromosomal DNA. In the present work, we systematically studied the influence that the nucleobase moieties of the 2'-O-(pyren-1-yl)methyl-RNA monomers have on the recognition efficiency of Invader duplexes. Results from thermal denaturation, binding energy, and recognition experiments using Invader duplexes with different +1 interstrand zippers of the four canonical 2'-O-(pyren-1-yl)methyl-RNA A/C/G/U monomers show that incorporation of these motifs is a general strategy for activation of probes for recognition of dsDNA. Probe duplexes with interstrand zippers comprising C and/or U monomers result in the most efficient recognition of dsDNA. The insight gained from this study will drive the design of efficient Invaders for applications in molecular biology, nucleic acid diagnostics, and biotechnology.
Project description:Over the past three decades, a wide range of pyrene-functionalized oligonucleotides have been developed and explored for potential applications in material science and nucleic acid diagnostics. Our efforts have focused on their possible use as components of Invader probes, i.e., DNA duplexes with +1 interstrand zipper arrangements of intercalator-functionalized nucleotides. We have previously demonstrated that Invader probes based on 2'-O-(pyren-1-yl)methyl-RNA monomers are energetically activated for sequence-unrestricted recognition of chromosomal DNA targets under non-denaturing conditions. As part of ongoing efforts towards delineating structure-property relationships and optimizing Invader probes, we report the synthesis and biophysical characterization of oligodeoxyribonucleotides (ONs) modified with 2'-O-(7-neo-pentylpyren-1-yl)methyl-uridine monomer V and 2'-O-(7-tert-butyl-1-methoxypyren-5-yl)methyl-uridine monomer Y. ONs modified with monomer V display increased DNA affinity (?Tm up to +10.5 °C), while Y-modified ONs display lower DNA affinity and up to 22-fold increases in fluorescence emission upon RNA binding. Although these monomers display limited potential as building blocks for Invader probes, their photophysical properties render them of interest for diagnostic RNA-targeting applications.
Project description:Despite advances with triplex-forming oligonucleotides, peptide nucleic acids, polyamides and--more recently--engineered proteins, there remains an urgent need for synthetic ligands that enable specific recognition of double-stranded (ds) DNA to accelerate studies aiming at detecting, regulating and modifying genes. Invaders, i.e., energetically activated DNA duplexes with interstrand zipper arrangements of intercalator-functionalized nucleotides, are emerging as an attractive approach toward this goal. Here, we characterize and compare Invaders based on 1-, 2- and 4-pyrenyl-functionalized O2'-alkylated uridine monomers X-Z by means of thermal denaturation experiments, optical spectroscopy, force-field simulations and recognition experiments using DNA hairpins as model targets. We demonstrate that Invaders with +1 interstrand zippers of X or Y monomers efficiently recognize mixed-sequence DNA hairpins with single nucleotide fidelity. Intercalator-mediated unwinding and activation of the double-stranded probe, coupled with extraordinary stabilization of probe-target duplexes (?T(m)/modification up to +14.0 °C), provides the driving force for dsDNA recognition. In contrast, Z-modified Invaders show much lower dsDNA recognition efficiency. Thus, even very conservative changes in the chemical makeup of the intercalator-functionalized nucleotides used to activate Invader duplexes, affects dsDNA-recognition efficiency of the probes, which highlights the importance of systematic structure-property studies. The insight from this study will guide future design of Invaders for applications in molecular biology and nucleic acid diagnostics.
Project description:The development of molecular strategies that enable recognition of specific double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) regions has been a longstanding goal as evidenced by the emergence of triplex-forming oligonucleotides, peptide nucleic acids (PNAs), minor groove binding polyamides, and--more recently--engineered proteins such as CRISPR/Cas9. Despite this progress, an unmet need remains for simple hybridization-based probes that recognize specific mixed-sequence dsDNA regions under physiological conditions. Herein, we introduce pseudocomplementary Invader probes as a step in this direction. These double-stranded probes are chimeras between pseudocomplementary DNA (pcDNA) and Invader probes, which are activated for mixed-sequence dsDNA-recognition through the introduction of pseudocomplementary base pairs comprised of 2-thiothymine and 2,6-diaminopurine, and +1 interstrand zipper arrangements of intercalator-functionalized nucleotides, respectively. We demonstrate that certain pseudocomplementary Invader probe designs result in very efficient and specific recognition of model dsDNA targets in buffers of high ionic strength. These chimeric probes, therefore, present themselves as a promising strategy for mixed-sequence recognition of dsDNA targets for applications in molecular biology and nucleic acid diagnostics.
Project description:The influence of locked nucleic acid (LNA) residues on the thermodynamic properties of 2'-O-methyl RNA/RNA heteroduplexes is reported. Optical melting studies indicate that LNA incorporated into an otherwise 2'-O-methyl RNA oligonucleotide usually, but not always, enhances the stabilities of complementary duplexes formed with RNA. Several trends are apparent, including: (i) a 3' terminal U LNA and 5' terminal LNAs are less stabilizing than interior and other 3' terminal LNAs; (ii) most of the stability enhancement is achieved when LNA nucleotides are separated by at least one 2'-O-methyl nucleotide; and (iii) the effects of LNA substitutions are approximately additive when the LNA nucleotides are separated by at least one 2'-O-methyl nucleotide. An equation is proposed to approximate the stabilities of complementary duplexes formed with RNA when at least one 2'-O-methyl nucleotide separates LNA nucleotides. The sequence dependence of 2'-O-methyl RNA/RNA duplexes appears to be similar to that of RNA/RNA duplexes, and preliminary nearest-neighbor free energy increments at 37 degrees C are presented for 2'-O-methyl RNA/RNA duplexes. Internal mismatches with LNA nucleotides significantly destabilize duplexes with RNA.
Project description:Locked nucleic acids (LNA) show remarkable affinity and specificity against native DNA targets. Effects of LNA modifications on mismatch discrimination were studied as a function of sequence context and identity of the mismatch using ultraviolet (UV) melting experiments. A triplet of LNA residues centered on the mismatch was generally found to have the largest discriminatory power. An exception was observed for G-T mismatches, where discrimination decreased when the guanine nucleotide at the mismatch site or even the flanking nucleotides were modified. Fluorescence experiments using 2-aminopurine suggest that LNA modifications enhance base stacking of perfectly matched base pairs and decrease stabilizing stacking interactions of mismatched base pairs. LNAs do not change the amount of counterions (Na+) that are released when duplexes denature. New guidelines are suggested for design of LNA probes, which significantly improve mismatch discrimination in comparison with unmodified DNA probes.
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.