Discovery of a natural product-like c-myc G-quadruplex DNA groove-binder by molecular docking.
ABSTRACT: The natural product-like carbamide (1) has been identified as a stabilizer of the c-myc G-quadruplex through high-throughput virtual screening. NMR and molecular modeling experiments revealed a groove-binding mode for 1. The biological activity of 1 against the c-myc G-quadruplex was confirmed by its ability to inhibit Taq polymerase-mediated DNA extension and c-myc expression in vitro, demonstrating that 1 is able to control c-myc gene expression at the transcriptional level presumably through the stabilization of the c-myc promoter G-quadruplex. Furthermore, the interaction between carbamide analogues and the c-myc G-quadruplex was also investigated by in vitro experiments in order to generate a brief structure-activity relationship (SAR) for the observed potency of carbamide 1.
Project description:The interactions of the water-soluble tetraazaperopyrene dye 1 with ct-DNA, duplex-[(dAdT)12 ?(dAdT)12 ], duplex-[(dGdC)12 ?(dGdC)12 ] as well as with two G-quadruplex-forming sequences, namely the human telomeric 22AG and the promotor sequence c-myc, were investigated by means of UV/visible and fluorescence spectroscopy, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and molecular docking studies. Dye 1 exhibits a high affinity for G-quadruplex structures over duplex DNA structures. Furthermore, the ligand shows promising G-quadruplex discrimination, with an affinity towards c-myc of 2×10(7) ?m(-1) (i.e., Kd =50?nm), which is higher than for 22AG (4×10(6) ?m(-1) ). The ITC data reveal that compound 1 interacts with c-myc in a stoichiometric ratio of 1:1 but also indicate the presence of two identical lower affinity secondary binding sites per quadruplex. In 22AG, there are two high affinity binding sites per quadruplex, that is, one on each side, with a further four weaker binding sites. For both quadruplex structures, the high affinity interactions between compound 1 and the quadruplex-forming nucleic acid structures are weakly endothermic. Molecular docking studies suggest an end-stacking binding mode for compound 1 interacting with quadruplex structures, and a higher affinity for the parallel conformation of c-myc than for the mixed-hybrid conformation of 22AG. In addition, docking studies also suggest that the reduced affinity for duplex DNA structures is due to the non-viability of an intercalative binding mode.
Project description:The biological role of quadruplexes and polyamines has been independently associated with cancer. However, quadruplex-polyamine mediated transcriptional regulation remain unaddressed. Herein, using c-MYC quadruplex model, we have attempted to understand quadruplex-polyamine interaction and its role in transcriptional regulation. We initially employed biophysical approach involving CD, UV and FRET to understand the role of polyamines (spermidine and spermine) on conformation, stability, molecular recognition of quadruplex and to investigate the effect of polyamines on quadruplex-Watson Crick duplex transition. Our study demonstrates that polyamines affect the c-MYC quadruplex conformation, perturb its recognition properties and delays duplex formation. The relative free energy difference (DeltaDeltaG degrees) between the duplex and quadruplex structure indicate that polyamines stabilize and favor c-MYC quadruplex over duplex. Further, we investigated the influence of polyamine mediated perturbation of this equilibrium on c-MYC expression. Our results suggest that polyamines induce structural transition of c-MYC quadruplex to a transcriptionally active motif with distinctive molecular recognition property, which drives c-MYC expression. These findings may allow exploiting quadruplex-polyamines interaction for developing antiproliferative strategies to combat aberrant gene expression.
Project description:Most transcription of the MYC proto-oncogene initiates in the near upstream promoter, within which lies the nuclease hypersensitive element (NHE) III(1) region containing the CT-element. This dynamic stretch of DNA can form at least three different topologies: single-stranded DNA, double-stranded DNA, or higher order secondary structures that silence transcription. In the current report, we identify the ellipticine analog GQC-05 (NSC338258) as a high affinity, potent, and selective stabilizer of the MYC G-quadruplex (G4). In cells, GQC-05 induced cytotoxicity with corresponding decreased MYC mRNA and altered protein binding to the NHE III(1) region, in agreement with a G4 stabilizing compound. We further describe a unique feature of the Burkitt's lymphoma cell line CA46 that allowed us to clearly demonstrate the mechanism and location of action of GQC-05 within this region of DNA and through the G4. Most importantly, these data present, as far as we are aware, the most direct evidence of intracellular G4-mediated control of a particular promoter.
Project description:<h4>Background and purpose</h4>Telomerase is the enzyme responsible for extending G-strand telomeric DNA and represents a promising target for treatment of neoplasia. Inhibition of telomerase can be achieved by stabilization of G-quadruplex DNA structures. Here, we characterize the cellular effects of a novel G-quadruplex stabilizing compound, 3,6-bis(4-methyl-2-vinylpyrazinium iodine) carbazole (BMVC4).<h4>Experimental approach</h4>The cellular effects of BMVC4 were characterized in both telomerase-positive and alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) cancer cells. The molecular mechanism of how BMVC4 induced senescence is also addressed.<h4>Key results</h4>BMVC4-treated cancer cells showed typical senescence phenotypes. BMVC4 induced senescence in both ALT and telomerase-overexpressing cells, suggesting that telomere shortening through telomerase inhibition might not be the cause for senescence. A large fraction of DNA damage foci was not localized to telomeres in BMVC4-treated cells and BMVC4 suppressed c-myc expression through stabilizing the G-quadruplex structure located at its promoter. These results indicated that the cellular targets of BMVC4 were not limited to telomeres. Further analyses showed that BMVC4 induced DNA breaks and activation of ataxia telangiectasia-mutated mediated DNA damage response pathway.<h4>Conclusions and implications</h4>BMVC4, a G-quadruplex stabilizer, induced senescence by activation of pathways of response to DNA damage that was independent of its telomerase inhibitory activity. Thus, BMVC4 has the potential to be developed as a chemotherapeutic agent against both telomerase positive and ALT cancer cells.
Project description:This G-rich region of the c-MYC promoter has been shown to form a G-quadruplex structure that acts as a silencer element for c-MYC transcriptional control. In the present work, we have synthesized a series of 11-substituted quindoline analogues as c-MYC G-quadruplex-stabilizing compounds, and the cell-free and in vitro activity of these compounds were evaluated. Two lead compounds (4 and 12) demonstrated good cell-free profiles, and compound 4 (2-(4-(10H-indolo[3,2-b]quinolin-11-yl)piperazin-1-yl)-N,N-dimethylethanamine) significantly down-regulated c-MYC expression. However, despite the good cell-free activity and the effect of these compounds on c-MYC gene expression, we have demonstrated, using a cellular assay in a Burkitt's lymphoma cell line (CA46-specific), that these effects were not mediated through targeting of the c-MYC G-quadruplex. Thus, caution should be used in assigning the effects of G-quadruplex-interactive compounds that lower c-MYC to direct targeting of these promoter elements unless this assay, or similar ones, demonstrates direct targeting of the G-quadruplex in cells.
Project description:The hTERT core promoter contains a G-rich region of 12 consecutive G-tracts, embracing 3 Sp1 binding sites, and has the potential to form multiple G-quadruplexes. From the 12 runs of guanines, 9 putative hTERT G-quadruplex-forming sequences were selected to assay for G-quadruplex formation and stability using circular dichroism and a Taq polymerase stop assay. Results from biophysical and chemical assays demonstrate an approximate inverse correlation between total loop size and structure stability. Investigation of the full-length hTERT G-rich sequence using a Taq polymerase stop assay and dimethyl sulfate footprinting revealed the formation of a unique end-to-end stacked G-quadruplex structure from this sequence. This structure consists of an all parallel G-quadruplex, formed by four consecutive G-tracts, linked to another, atypical G-quadruplex, formed by two pairs of consecutive G-tracts separated by a 26-base loop. This 26-base loop likely forms a stable hairpin structure, which would explain the unexpected stability of this G-quadruplex. Significantly, the formation of this tandem G-quadruplex structure in the full-length sequence masks all three Sp1 binding sites, which is predicted to produce significant inhibition of hTERT promoter activity. Furthermore, our study implies that inhibition of telomerase activity by some G-quadruplex ligands is not only produced by targeting telomeric G-quadruplexes but also by stabilization of the hTERT promoter G-quadruplexes.
Project description:Guanine-rich nucleic acids can fold into G-quadruplexes, secondary structures implicated in important regulatory functions at the genomic level in humans, prokaryotes and viruses. The remarkably high guanine content of the Herpes Simplex Virus-1 (HSV-1) genome prompted us to investigate both the presence of G-quadruplex forming sequences in the viral genome and the possibility to target them with G-quadruplex ligands to obtain anti-HSV-1 effects with a novel mechanism of action. Using biophysical, molecular biology and antiviral assays, we showed that the HSV-1 genome displays multiple clusters of repeated sequences that form very stable G-quadruplexes. These sequences are mainly located in the inverted repeats of the HSV-1 genome. Treatment of HSV-1 infected cells with the G-quadruplex ligand BRACO-19 induced inhibition of virus production. BRACO-19 was able to inhibit Taq polymerase processing at G-quadruplex forming sequences in the HSV-1 genome, and decreased intracellular viral DNA in infected cells. The last step targeted by BRACO-19 was viral DNA replication, while no effect on virus entry in the cells was observed. This work, presents the first evidence of extended G-quadruplex sites in key regions of the HSV-1 genome, indicates the possibility to block viral DNA replication by G-quadruplex-ligand and therefore provides a proof of concept for the use of G-quadruplex ligands as new anti-herpetic therapeutic options.
Project description:To understand the mechanisms controlling platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFR-beta) expression in malignancies, we have cloned and characterized the first functional promoter of the human PDGFR-beta gene, which has been confirmed by luciferase reporter gene assays. The transcription initiation sites were mapped by primer extension. Promoter deletion experiments demonstrate that the proximal, highly GC-rich region (positions -165 to -139) of the human PDGFR-beta promoter is crucial for basal promoter activity. This region is sensitive to S1 nuclease and likely to assume a non-B-form DNA secondary structure within the supercoiled plasmid. The G-rich strand in this region contains a series of runs of three or more guanines that can form multiple different G-quadruplex structures, which have been subsequently assessed by circular dichroism. A Taq polymerase stop assay has shown that three different G-quadruplex-interactive drugs can each selectively stabilize different G-quadruplex structures of the human PDGFR-beta promoter. However, in transfection experiments, only telomestatin significantly reduced the human PDGFR-beta basal promoter activity relative to the control. Furthermore, the PDGFR-beta mRNA level in Daoy cells was significantly decreased after treatment with 1 muM telomestatin for 24 h. Therefore, we propose that ligand-mediated stabilization of specific G-quadruplex structures in the human PDGFR-beta promoter can modulate its transcription.
Project description:The structural differences among different G-quadruplexes provide an opportunity for site-specific targeting of a particular G-quadruplex structure. However, majority of G-quadruplex ligands described thus far show little selectivity among different G-quadruplexes. In this work, we delineate the design and synthesis of a crescent-shaped thiazole peptide that preferentially stabilizes c-MYC quadruplex over other promoter G-quadruplexes and inhibits c-MYC oncogene expression. Biophysical analysis such as Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) melting and fluorescence spectroscopy show that the thiazole peptide TH3 can selectively interact with the c-MYC G-quadruplex over other investigated G-quadruplexes and duplex DNA. NMR spectroscopy reveals that peptide TH3 binds to the terminal G-quartets and capping regions present in the 5'- and 3'-ends of c-MYC G-quadruplex with a 2:1 stoichiometry; whereas structurally related distamycin A is reported to interact with quadruplex structures via groove binding and end stacking modes with 4:1 stoichiometry. Importantly, qRT-PCR, western blot and dual luciferase reporter assay show that TH3 downregulates c-MYC expression by stabilizing the c-MYC G-quadruplex in cancer cells. Moreover, TH3 localizes within the nucleus of cancer cells and exhibits antiproliferative activities by inducing S phase cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.
Project description:The c-MYC oncogene mediates multiple tumor cell survival pathways and is dysregulated or overexpressed in the majority of human cancers. The NHE III1 region of the c-MYC promoter forms a DNA quadruplex. Stabilization of this structure with small molecules has been shown to reduce expression of c-MYC, and targeting the c-MYC quadruplex has become an emerging strategy for development of antitumor compounds. Previous solution NMR studies of the c-MYC quadruplex have assigned the major conformer and topology of this important target, however, regions outside the G-quartet core were not as well-defined. Here, we report a high-resolution crystal structure (2.35 Å) of the major quadruplex formed in the NHE III1 region of the c-MYC promoter. The crystal structure is in general agreement with the solution NMR structure, however, key differences are observed in the position of nucleotides outside the G-quartet core. The crystal structure provides an alternative model that, along with comparisons to other reported quadruplex crystal structures, will be important to the rational design of selective compounds. This work will aid in development of ligands to target the c-MYC promoter quadruplex with the goal of creating novel anticancer therapies.