Inhibition of 5'-UTR RNA conformational switching in HIV-1 using antisense PNAs.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The genome of retroviruses, including HIV-1, is packaged as two homologous (+) strand RNA molecules, noncovalently associated close to their 5'-end in a region called dimer linkage structure (DLS). Retroviral HIV-1 genomic RNAs dimerize through complex interactions between dimerization initiation sites (DIS) within the (5'-UTR). Dimer formation is prevented by so calledLong Distance Interaction (LDI) conformation, whereas Branched Multiple Hairpin (BMH) conformation leads to spontaneous dimerization. METHODS AND RESULTS: We evaluated the role of SL1 (DIS), PolyA Hairpin signal and a long distance U5-AUG interaction by in-vitro dimerization, conformer assay and coupled dimerization and template-switching assays using antisense PNAs. Our data suggests evidence that PNAs targeted against SL1 produced severe inhibitory effect on dimerization and template-switching processes while PNAs targeted against U5 region do not show significant effect on dimerization and template switching, while PNAs targeted against AUG region showed strong inhibition of dimerization and template switching processes. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that PNA can be used successfully as an antisense to inhibit dimerization and template switching process in HIV -1 and both of the processes are closely linked to each other. Different PNA oligomers have ability of switching between two thermodynamically stable forms. PNA targeted against DIS and SL1 switch, LDI conformer to more dimerization friendly BMH form. PNAs targeted against PolyA haipin configuration did not show a significant change in dimerization and template switching process. The PNA oligomer directed against the AUG strand of U5-AUG duplex structure also showed a significant reduction in RNA dimerization as well as template- switching efficiency.The antisense PNA oligomers can be used to regulate the shift in the LDI/BMH equilibrium.
Project description:Retroviruses selectively package two copies of their unspliced genomes by what appears to be a dimerization-dependent RNA packaging mechanism. Dimerization of human immunodeficiency virus Type-1 (HIV-1) genomes is initiated by "kissing" interactions between GC-rich palindromic loop residues of a conserved hairpin (DIS), and is indirectly promoted by long-range base pairing between residues overlapping the gag start codon (AUG) and an upstream Unique 5' element (U5). The DIS and U5:AUG structures are phylogenetically conserved among divergent retroviruses, suggesting conserved functions. However, some studies suggest that the DIS of HIV-2 does not participate in dimerization, and that U5:AUG pairing inhibits, rather than promotes, genome dimerization. We prepared RNAs corresponding to native and mutant forms of the 5' leaders of HIV-1 (NL4-3 strain), HIV-2 (ROD strain), and two divergent strains of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV; cpz-TAN1 and -US strains), and probed for potential roles of the DIS and U5:AUG base pairing on intrinsic and NC-dependent dimerization by mutagenesis, gel electrophoresis, and NMR spectroscopy.Dimeric forms of the native HIV-2 and SIV leaders were only detectable using running buffers that contained Mg(2+), indicating that these dimers are more labile than that of the HIV-1 leader. Mutations designed to promote U5:AUG base pairing promoted dimerization of the HIV-2 and SIV RNAs, whereas mutations that prevented U5:AUG pairing inhibited dimerization. Chimeric HIV-2 and SIV leader RNAs containing the dimer-promoting loop of HIV-1 (DIS) exhibited HIV-1 leader-like dimerization properties, whereas an HIV-1NL4-3 mutant containing the SIVcpzTAN1 DIS loop behaved like the SIVcpzTAN1 leader. The cognate NC proteins exhibited varying abilities to promote dimerization of the retroviral leader RNAs, but none were able to convert labile dimers to non-labile dimers.The finding that U5:AUG formation promotes dimerization of the full-length HIV-1, HIV-2, SIVcpzUS, and SIVcpzTAN1 5' leaders suggests that these retroviruses utilize a common RNA structural switch mechanism to modulate function. Differences in native and NC-dependent dimerization propensity and lability are due to variations in the compositions of the DIS loop residues rather than other sequences within the leader RNAs. Although NC is a well-known RNA chaperone, its role in dimerization has the hallmarks of a classical riboswitch.
Project description:Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-clamping using blocking primer and DNA-analogs, such as peptide nucleotide acid (PNA), may be used to selectively amplify target DNA for molecular diet analysis. We investigated PCR-clamping efficiency by studying PNA position and mismatch with complementary DNA by designing PNAs at five different positions on the nuclear rDNA internal transcribed spacer 1 of the Japanese eel Anguilla japonica in association with intra-specific nucleotide substitutions. All five PNAs were observed to efficiently inhibit amplification of a fully complementary DNA template. One mismatch between PNA and template DNA inhibited amplification of the template DNA, while two or more mismatches did not. DNA samples extracted from dorsal muscle and intestine of eight wild-caught leptochephalus larvae were subjected to this analysis, followed by cloning, nucleotide sequence analysis, and database homology search. Among 12 sequence types obtained from the intestine sample, six were identified as fungi. No sequence similarities were found in the database for the remaining six types, which were not related to one another. These results, in conjunction with our laboratory observations on larval feeding, suggest that eel leptocephali may not be dependent upon living plankton for their food source.
Project description:The 5'-leader of the HIV-1 genome regulates multiple functions during viral replication via mechanisms that have yet to be established. We developed a nuclear magnetic resonance approach that enabled direct detection of structural elements within the intact leader (712-nucleotide dimer) that are critical for genome packaging. Residues spanning the gag start codon (AUG) form a hairpin in the monomeric leader and base pair with residues of the unique-5' region (U5) in the dimer. U5:AUG formation promotes dimerization by displacing and exposing a dimer-promoting hairpin and enhances binding by the nucleocapsid (NC) protein, which is the cognate domain of the viral Gag polyprotein that directs packaging. Our findings support a packaging mechanism in which translation, dimerization, NC binding, and packaging are regulated by a common RNA structural switch.
Project description:A peptide nucleic acid (PNA) antisense for the AUG translation initiation region of prepro-oxytocin mRNA was synthesized and coupled to a r etro-inverso peptide that is rapidly taken up by cells. This bioconjugate was internalized by cultured cerebral cortex neurons within minutes, according to the specific property of the vector peptide. The PNA alone also entered the cells, but more slowly. Cell viability was unaffected when the PNA concentrations were lower than 10 microM and incubation times less than for 24 h. Magnocellular neurons from the hypothalamic supraoptic nucleus, which produce oxytocin and vasopressin, were cultured in chemically defined medium. Both PNA and vector peptide-PNA depressed the amounts of the mRNA coding for prepro-oxytocin in these neurons. A scrambled PNA had no effect and the very cognate prepro-vasopressin mRNA was not affected. The antisense PNA also depressed the immunocytochemical signal for prepro-oxytocin in this culture in a dose- and time-dependent manner. These results show that PNAs driven by the retro-inverso vector peptide are powerful antisense reagents for use on cells in culture.
Project description:Methods to evolve synthetic, rather than biological, polymers could significantly expand the functional potential of polymers that emerge from in vitro evolution. Requirements for synthetic polymer evolution include (i) sequence-specific polymerization of synthetic building blocks on an amplifiable template, (ii) display of the newly translated polymer strand in a manner that allows it to adopt folded structures, (iii) selection of synthetic polymer libraries for desired binding or catalytic properties and (iv) amplification of template sequences that survive selection in a manner that allows subsequent translation. Here we report the development of such a system for peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) using a set of 12 PNA pentamer building blocks. We validated the system by performing six iterated cycles of translation, selection and amplification on a library of 4.3 x 10(8) PNA-encoding DNA templates and observed >1,000,000-fold overall enrichment of a template encoding a biotinylated (streptavidin-binding) PNA. These results collectively provide an experimental foundation for PNA evolution in the laboratory.
Project description:A series of peptide nucleic acid (PNA) oligomers targeting the mdm2 oncogene mRNA has been tested for the ability to inhibit the growth of JAR cells. The effect of these PNAs on the cells was also reflected in reduced levels of the MDM2 protein and increased levels of the p53 tumor suppressor protein, which is negatively regulated by MDM2. Initially, PNA oligomers were delivered as DNA complexes with lipofectamine, but it was discovered that PNA conjugated to the DNA intercalator 9-aminoacridine (Acr) (Acr-PNA) could be effectively delivered to JAR cells (as well as to HeLa pLuc705 cells) even in the absence of a DNA carrier. Using such lipofectamine-delivered Acr-PNA conjugates, one PNA targeting a cryptic AUG initiation site was identified that at a concentration of 2 microM caused a reduction of MDM2 levels to approximately 20% (but no reduction in mdm2 mRNA levels) and a 3-fold increase in p53 levels, whereas a 2-base mismatch control had no such effects. Furthermore, transcriptional activation by p53 was also increased (6-fold), and cell viability was reduced to 80%. Finally, this PNA acted cooperatively with camptothecin treatment both with regard to p53 activity induction as well as cell viability. Using this novel cell delivery system, we have identified a target on the mdm2 mRNA that appears sensitive to antisense inhibition by PNA and therefore could be used as a lead for further development of mdm2-targeted antisense (PNA and other) gene therapeutic anticancer drugs.
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.
Project description:Peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) have been developed for applications in biotechnology and therapeutics. There is great potential in the development of chemically modified PNAs or other triplex-forming ligands that selectively bind to RNA duplexes, but not single-stranded regions, at near-physiological conditions. Here, we report on a convenient synthesis route to a modified PNA monomer, thio-pseudoisocytosine (L), and binding studies of PNAs incorporating the monomer L. Thermal melting and gel electrophoresis studies reveal that L-incorporated 8-mer PNAs have superior affinity and specificity in recognizing the duplex region of a model RNA hairpin to form a pyrimidine motif major-groove RNA2-PNA triplex, without appreciable binding to single-stranded regions to form an RNA-PNA duplex or, via strand invasion, forming an RNA-PNA2 triplex at near-physiological buffer condition. In addition, an L-incorporated 8-mer PNA shows essentially no binding to single-stranded or double-stranded DNA. Furthermore, an L-modified 6-mer PNA, but not pseudoisocytosine (J) modified or unmodified PNA, binds to the HIV-1 programmed -1 ribosomal frameshift stimulatory RNA hairpin at near-physiological buffer conditions. The stabilization of an RNA2-PNA triplex by L modification is facilitated by enhanced van der Waals contacts, base stacking, hydrogen bonding and reduced dehydration energy. The destabilization of RNA-PNA and DNA-PNA duplexes by L modification is due to the steric clash and loss of two hydrogen bonds in a Watson-Crick-like G-L pair. An RNA2-PNA triplex is significantly more stable than a DNA2-PNA triplex, probably because the RNA duplex major groove provides geometry compatibility and favorable backbone-backbone interactions with PNA. Thus, L-modified triplex-forming PNAs may be utilized for sequence-specifically targeting duplex regions in RNAs for biological and therapeutic applications.
Project description:The structural reorganization of nanoscale DNA architectures is a fundamental aspect in dynamic DNA nanotechnology. Commonly, DNA nanoarchitectures are reorganized by means of toehold-expanded DNA sequences in a strand exchange process. Here we describe an unprecedented, toehold-free switching process that relies on pseudo-complementary peptide nucleic acid (pcPNA) by using a mechanism that involves double-strand invasion. The usefulness of this approach is demonstrated by application of these peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) as switches in a DNA rotaxane architecture. The monomers required for generating the pcPNA were obtained by an improved synthesis strategy and were incorporated into a PNA actuator sequence as well as into a short DNA strand that subsequently was integrated into the rotaxane architecture. Alternate addition of a DNA and PNA actuator sequence allowed the multiple reversible switching between a mobile rotaxane macrocycle and a stationary pseudorotaxane state. The switching occurs in an isothermal process at room temperature and is nearly quantitative in each switching step. pcPNAs can potentially be combined with light- and toehold-based switches, thus broadening the toolbox of orthogonal switching approaches for DNA architectures that open up new avenues in dynamic DNA nanotechnology.
Project description:CmeABC is a resistance-nodulation-cell division (RND)-type multidrug efflux pump conferring resistance to clinically important antibiotics in Campylobacter. This study aimed to identify the optimal target sites for the inhibition of CmeABC with antisense peptide nucleic acid (PNA).Eighteen PNAs were designed to bind to the translational initiation regions of cmeABC, spanning the ribosome-binding site (RBS) and the start codon of the cmeABC genes. Campylobacter jejuni was treated with CmeABC-specific PNAs (CmeABC-PNAs) at various concentrations and subjected to western blotting to measure changes in the level of CmeABC expression. The MICs of ciprofloxacin and erythromycin were measured to evaluate the impact of CmeABC knockdown on antibiotic susceptibility.While antisense PNA significantly affected CmeA and CmeB expression, interestingly, CmeC expression was not altered by any of the CmeC-PNAs used in this study. A CmeA-PNA targeting the RBS of cmeA and its upstream region reduced CmeA expression most efficiently, and CmeB expression was most significantly decreased by PNA binding to the RBS of cmeB and its downstream region. CmeA- and CmeB-PNAs increased the susceptibility of C. jejuni to ciprofloxacin and erythromycin in proportion to the inhibition levels observed in western blotting.The cmeA gene is the best target to knockdown CmeABC with antisense PNA. The RBS is the major target for the PNA-mediated antisense inhibition of CmeABC. However, regions in its vicinity also significantly influence the effectiveness of the PNA-based knockdown of CmeABC.