Detection of cell carcinogenic transformation by a quadruplex DNA binding fluorescent probe.
ABSTRACT: Cancer can be easily treated when found early. A probe capable of detecting cell transformation may increase the success rate of early diagnosis of cancer. In this report we have tested the ability of a fluorescent, quadruplex DNA binding probe, 3,6-bis(1-methyl-4- vinylpyridinium) carbazole diiodide (BMVC), to detect cell transformation in vitro. BMVC was applied to living cells in several different models of cell transformation, and the fluorescence signals of BMVC were measured. The degrees of cell transformation in these models were characterized by alterations in cellular morphological phenotype and subcellular organization. When BMVC probes were applied, the number of BMVC-positive cells increased in accordance with the degree of transformation. BMVC was capable of significantly detecting formation of foci, increased cellular motility, cell proliferation, cell apoptosis, anchorage-independent growth, and increased invasiveness of transformed cells. These results demonstrate the ability of BMVC probes to detect cell transformation and indicate that BMVC is of promise for use as a probe in early cancer detection.
Project description:Identification of the existence of G-quadruplex (G4) structure, from a specific G-rich sequence in cells, is critical to the studies of structural biology and drug development. Accumulating evidence supports the existence of G4 structure in vivo. Particularly, time-gated fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) of a G4 fluorescent probe, 3,6-bis(1-methyl-2-vinylpyridinium) carbazole diiodide (o-BMVC), was used to quantitatively measure the number of G4 foci, not only in different cell lines, but also in tissue biopsy. Here, circular dichroism spectra and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis assays show that the use of antisense oligonucleotides unfolds their G4 structures in different percentages. Using antisense oligonucleotides, quantitative measurement of the number of o-BMVC foci in time-gated FLIM images provides a method for identifying which G4 motifs form G4 structures in fixed cells. Here, the decrease of the o-BMVC foci number, upon the pretreatment of antisense sequences, (CCCTAA)3CCCTA, in fixed cells and at the end of metaphase chromosomes, allows us to identify the formation of telomeric G4 structures from TTAGGG repeats in fixed cells.
Project description:G-quadruplex (G4) structures have recently received increasing attention as a potential target for cancer research. We used time-gated fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) with a G4 fluorescent probe, 3,6-bis(1-methyl-2-vinylpyridinium) carbazole diiodide (o-BMVC), to measure the number of o-BMVC foci, which may represent G4 foci, in cells as a common signature to distinguish cancer cells from normal cells. Here, the decrease in the number of o-BMVC foci in the pretreatment of cancer cells with TMPyP4, BRACO-19 and BMVC4 suggested that they directly bind to G4s in cells. In contrast, the increase in the number of o-BMVC foci in the pretreatment of cells with PDS and Hoechst 33258 (H33258) suggested that they do not inhabit the binding site of o-BMVC to G4s in cells. After the H33258 was removed, the gradual decrease of H33258-induced G4 foci may be due to DNA repair. The purpose of this work is to introduce o-BMVC foci as an indicator not only to verify the direct binding of potential G4 ligands to G4 structures but also to examine the possible effect of some DNA binding ligands on DNA integrity by monitoring the number of G4 foci in cells.
Project description:G-quadruplexes (G4) are considered new drug targets for human diseases such as cancer. More than 10,000 G4s have been discovered in human chromatin, posing challenges for assessing the selectivity of a G4-interactive ligand. 3,6-bis(1-Methyl-4-vinylpyridinium) carbazole diiodide (BMVC) is the first fluorescent small molecule for G4 detection in vivo. Our previous structural study shows that BMVC binds to the MYC promoter G4 (MycG4) with high specificity. Here, we utilize high-throughput, large-scale custom DNA G4 microarrays to analyze the G4-binding selectivity of BMVC. BMVC preferentially binds to the parallel MycG4 and selectively recognizes flanking sequences of parallel G4s, especially the 3'-flanking thymine. Importantly, the microarray results are confirmed by orthogonal NMR and fluorescence binding analyses. Our study demonstrates the potential of custom G4 microarrays as a platform to broadly and unbiasedly assess the binding selectivity of G4-interactive ligands, and to help understand the properties that govern molecular recognition.
Project description:Because various non-parallel G-quadruplexes of human telomeric sequences in K+ solution can be converted to a parallel G-quadruplex by adding polyethylene glycol (PEG) as a co-solvent, we have taken advantage of this property of PEG to study the covalent attachment of a PEG unit to a G-quadruplex ligand, 3,6-bis(1-methyl-4-vinylpyridinium) carbazole diiodide (BMVC). The hybrid ligand with the PEG unit, BMVC-8C3O or BMVC-6C2O by substituting either the tetraethylene glycol or the triethylene glycol terminated with a methyl-piperidinium cation in N-9 position of BMVC, not only induces structural change from different non-parallel G-quadruplexes to a parallel G-quadruplex but also increases the melting temperature of human telomeres in K+ solution by more than 45°C. In addition, our ligand work provides further confidence that the local water structure plays the key to induce conformational change of human telomere.
Project description:Understanding of principles governing selective and sensitive cancer targeting is critical for development of chemicals for cancer diagnostics and treatment. We determined the underlying mechanisms of how a novel fluorescent small organic molecule, 3,6-bis(1-methyl-4-vinylpyridinium)carbazole diiodide (BMVC), selectively labels cancer cells but not normal cells. We show that BMVC is retained in the lysosomes of normal cells. In cancer cells, BMVC escapes lysosomal retention and localizes to the mitochondria or to the nucleus, where DNA-binding dramatically increases BMVC fluorescence intensity, allowing it to light up only cancer cells. Structure-function analyses of BMVC derivatives show that hydrogen-bonding capacity is a key determinant of lysosomal retention in normal cells, whereas lipophilicity directs these derivatives to the mitochondria or the nucleus in cancer cells. In addition, drug-resistant cancer cells preferentially retain BMVC in their lysosomes compared to drug-sensitive cancer cells, and BMVC can be released from drug-resistant lysosomes using lysosomotropic agents. Our results further our understanding of how properties of cellular organelles differ between normal and cancer cells, which can be exploited for diagnostic and/or therapeutic use. We also provide physiochemical design principles for selective targeting of small molecules to different organelles. Moreover, our results suggest that agents which can increase lysosomal membrane permeability may re-sensitize drug-resistant cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents.
Project description:G-quadruplex (G4) is a promising target for anti-cancer treatment. In this paper, we provide the first evidence supporting the presence of G4 in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of live cells. The molecular engineering of a fluorescent G4 ligand, 3,6-bis(1-methyl-4-vinylpyridinium) carbazole diiodide (BMVC), can change its major cellular localization from the nucleus to the mitochondria in cancer cells, while remaining primarily in the cytoplasm of normal cells. A number of BMVC derivatives with sufficient mitochondrial uptake can induce cancer cell death without damaging normal cells. Fluorescence studies of these anti-cancer agents in live cells and in isolated mitochondria from HeLa cells have demonstrated that their major target is mtDNA. In this study, we use fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy to verify the existence of mtDNA G4s in live cells. Bioactivity studies indicate that interactions between these anti-cancer agents and mtDNA G4 can suppress mitochondrial gene expression. This work underlines the importance of fluorescence in the monitoring of drug-target interactions in cells and illustrates the emerging development of drugs in which mtDNA G4 is the primary target.
Project description:We have introduced a G-quadruplex-binding ligand, 3,6-bis(1-methyl-4-vinylpyridinium)carbazole diiodide (BMVC), to verify the major structure of d(T2AG3)4 (H24) in potassium solution and examine the structural conversion of H24 in sodium solution upon potassium titration. The studies of circular dichroism, induced circular dichroism, spectral titration and gel competition have allowed us to determine the binding mode and binding ratio of BMVC to the H24 in solution and eliminate the parallel form as the major G-quadruplex structure. Although the mixed-type form could not be eliminated as a main component, the basket and chair forms are more likely the main components of H24 in potassium solution. In addition, the circular dichroism spectra and the job plots reveal that a longer telomeric sequence d(T2AG3)13 (H78) could form two units of G4 structure both in sodium or potassium solutions. Of particular interest is that no appreciable change on the induced circular dichroism spectra of BMVC is found during the change of the circular dichroism patterns of H24 upon potassium titration. Considering similar spectral conversion detected for H24 and a long sequence H78 together with the G4 structure stabilized by BMVC, it is therefore unlikely that the rapid spectral conversion of H24 and H78 is due to structural change between different types of the G4 structures. With reference to the circular dichroism spectra of d(GAA)7 and d(GAAA)5, we suggest that the spectral conversion of H24 upon potassium titration is attributed to fast ion exchange resulting in different loop base interaction and various hydrogen bonding effects.
Project description:Using time-gated fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy, significantly more signals from 3,6-bis(1-methyl-2-vinyl-pyridinium) carbazole diiodide (o-BMVC) foci, characterized by the longer fluorescent decay time of o-BMVC, were detected in six types of cancer cells than in three types of normal cells. Accumulating evidence suggested that the o-BMVC foci are mainly the G-quadruplex foci. The large contrast in the number of o-BMVC foci can be considered as a common signature to distinguish cancer cells from normal cells. Further study of tissue biopsy showed that the o-BMVC test provides a high accuracy for clinical detection of head and neck cancers.
Project description:BMVC is the first fluorescent probe designed to detect G-quadruplexes (G4s) in vivo. The MYC oncogene promoter forms a G4 (MycG4) which acts as a transcription silencer. Here, we report the high-affinity and specific binding of BMVC to MycG4 with unusual slow-exchange rates on the NMR timescale. We also show that BMVC represses MYC in cancer cells. We determined the solution structures of the 1:1 and 2:1 BMVC-MycG4 complexes. BMVC first binds the 5'-end of MycG4 to form a 1:1 complex with a well-defined structure. At higher ratio, BMVC also binds the 3'-end to form a second complex. In both complexes, the crescent-shaped BMVC recruits a flanking DNA residue to form a BMVC-base plane stacking over the external G-tetrad. Remarkably, BMVC adjusts its conformation to a contracted form to match the G-tetrad for an optimal stacking interaction. This is the first structural example showing the importance of ligand conformational adjustment in G4 recognition. BMVC binds the more accessible 5'-end with higher affinity, whereas sequence specificity is present at the weaker-binding 3'-site. Our structures provide insights into specific recognition of MycG4 by BMVC and useful information for design of G4-targeted anticancer drugs and fluorescent probes.
Project description:Two near-infrared luminescent probes with Stokes-shift and single-photon anti-Stokes-shift fluorescence properties for sensitive determination of pH variance in lysosomes have been synthesized. A morpholine residue in probe A which serves as a targeting group for lysosomes in viable cells was attached to the fluorophores via a spirolactam moiety while a mannose residue was ligated to probe B resulting in increased biocompatibility and solubility in water. Probes A and B contain closed spirolactam moieties, and show no Stokes-shift or anti-Stokes-shift fluorescence under neutral or alkali conditions. However, the probes incrementally react to pH variance from 7.22 to 2.76 with measurable increases in both Stokes-shift and anti-Stokes-shift fluorescence at 699 nm and 693 nm under 645 nm and 800 nm excitation, respectively. This acid-activated fluorescence is produced by the breaking of the probe spirolactam moiety, which greatly increased overall ?-conjugation in the probes. These probes possess upconversion near-infrared fluorescence imaging advantages including minimum cellular photo-damage, tissue penetration, and minimum biological fluorescence background. They display excellent photostability with low dye photobleaching and show good biocompatibility. They are selective and capable of detecting pH variances in lysosomes at excitation with two different wavelengths, i.e., 645 and 800 nm.