Biomolecules of 2-Thiouracil, 4-Thiouracil and 2,4-Dithiouracil: A DFT Study of the Hydration, Molecular Docking and Effect in DNA:RNAMicrohelixes.
ABSTRACT: The molecular structure of 2-thiouracil, 4-thiouracil and 2,4-dithiouracil was analyzed under the effect of the first and second hydration shell by using the B3LYP density functional (DFT) method, and the results were compared to those obtained for the uracil molecule. A slight difference in the water distribution appears in these molecules. On the hydration of these molecules several trends in bond lengths and atomic charges were established. The ring in uracil molecule appears easier to be deformed and adapted to different environments as compared to that when it is thio-substituted. Molecular docking calculations of 2-thiouracil against three different pathogens: Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans were carried out. Docking calculations of 2,4-dithiouracil ligand with various targeted proteins were also performed. Different DNA: RNA hybrid microhelixes with uridine, 2-thiouridine, 4-thiouridine and 2,4-dithiouridine nucleosides were optimized in a simple model with three nucleotide base pairs. Two main types of microhelixes were analyzed in detail depending on the intramolecular H-bond of the 2'-OH group. The weaker Watson-Crick (WC) base pair formed with thio-substituted uracil than with unsubstituted ones slightly deforms the helical and backbone parameters, especially with 2,4-dithiouridine. However, the thio-substitution significantly increases the dipole moment of the A-type microhelixes, as well as the rise and propeller twist parameters.
Project description:2-Thiouracil-containing nucleosides are essential modified units of natural and synthetic nucleic acids. In particular, the 5-substituted-2-thiouridines (S2Us) present in tRNA play an important role in tuning the translation process through codon-anticodon interactions. The enhanced thermodynamic stability of S2U-containing RNA duplexes and the preferred S2U-A versus S2U-G base pairing are appreciated characteristics of S2U-modified molecular probes. Recently, we have demonstrated that 2-thiouridine (alone or within an RNA chain) is predominantly transformed under oxidative stress conditions to 4-pyrimidinone riboside (H2U) and not to uridine. Due to the important biological functions and various biotechnological applications for sulfur-containing nucleic acids, we compared the thermodynamic stabilities of duplexes containing desulfured products with those of 2-thiouracil-modified RNA and DNA duplexes. Differential scanning calorimetry experiments and theoretical calculations demonstrate that upon 2-thiouracil desulfuration to 4-pyrimidinone, the preferred base pairing of S2U with adenosine is lost, with preferred base pairing with guanosine observed instead. Therefore, biological processes and in vitro assays in which oxidative desulfuration of 2-thiouracil-containing components occurs may be altered. Moreover, we propose that the H2U-G base pair is a suitable model for investigation of the preferred recognition of 3'-G-ending versus A-ending codons by tRNA wobble nucleosides, which may adopt a 4-pyrimidinone-type structural motif.
Project description:Transcriptional profiling is a powerful approach for studying mouse development, physiology and disease models. Here we describe a protocol for mouse thiouracil tagging (TU tagging), a transcriptome analysis technology that includes in vivo covalent labeling, purification and analysis of cell type-specific RNA. TU tagging enables the isolation of RNA from a given cell population of a complex tissue, avoiding transcriptional changes induced by cell isolation trauma, as well as the identification of actively transcribed RNAs and not preexisting transcripts. Therefore, in contrast to other cell-specific transcriptional profiling methods based on the purification of tagged ribosomes or nuclei, TU tagging provides a direct examination of transcriptional regulation. We describe how to (i) deliver 4-thiouracil to transgenic mice to thio-label cell lineage-specific transcripts, (ii) purify TU-tagged RNA and prepare libraries for Illumina sequencing and (iii) follow a straightforward bioinformatics workflow to identify cell type-enriched or differentially expressed genes. Tissue containing TU-tagged RNA can be obtained in 1 d, RNA-seq libraries can be generated within 2 d and, after sequencing, an initial bioinformatics analysis can be completed in 1 additional day.
Project description:Accurate excited-state quantum chemical calculations on 2-thiouracil, employing large active spaces and up to quadruple-? quality basis sets in multistate complete active space perturbation theory calculations, are reported. The results suggest that the main relaxation path for 2-thiouracil after photoexcitation should be S2 ? S1 ? T2 ? T1, and that this relaxation occurs on a subpicosecond time scale. There are two deactivation pathways from the initially excited bright S2 state to S1, one of which is nearly barrierless and should promote ultrafast internal conversion. After relaxation to the S1 minimum, small singlet-triplet energy gaps and spin-orbit couplings of about 130 cm(-1) are expected to facilitate intersystem crossing to T2, from where very fast internal conversion to T1 occurs. An important finding is that 2-thiouracil shows strong pyramidalization at the carbon atom of the thiocarbonyl group in several excited states.
Project description:We present the first study to measure the dissociative photochemistry of 2-thiouracil (2-TU), an important nucleobase analogue with applications in molecular biology and pharmacology. Laser photodissociation spectroscopy is applied to the deprotonated and protonated forms of 2-TU, which are produced in the gas-phase using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Our results show that the deprotonated form of 2-thiouracil ([2-TU-H]-) decays predominantly by electron ejection and hence concomitant production of the [2-TU-H]· free-radical species, following photoexcitation across the UVA-UVC region. Thiocyanate (SCN-) and a m/z 93 fragment ion are also observed as photodecay products of [2-TU-H]- but at very low intensities. Photoexcitation of protonated 2-thiouracil ([2-TU·H]+) across the same UVA-UVC spectral region produces the m/z 96 cationic fragment as the major photofragment. This ion corresponds to ejection of an HS· radical from the precursor ion and is determined to be a product of direct excited state decay. Fragment ions associated with decay of the hot ground state (i.e., the ions we would expect to observe if 2-thiouracil was behaving like UV-dissipating uracil) are observed as much more minor products. This behaviour is consistent with enhanced intersystem crossing to triplet excited states compared to internal conversion back to the ground state. These are the first experiments to probe the effect of protonation/deprotonation on thionucleobase photochemistry, and hence explore the effect of pH at a molecular level on their photophysical properties.
Project description:The structure-activity relationships and molecular modeling of the uracil nucleotide activated P2Y6 receptor have been studied. Uridine 5'-diphosphate (UDP) analogues bearing substitutions of the ribose moiety, the uracil ring, and the diphosphate group were synthesized and assayed for activity at the human P2Y6 receptor. The uracil ring was modified at the 4 position, with the synthesis of 4-substituted-thiouridine 5'-diphosphate analogues, as well as at positions 2, 3, and 5. The effect of modifications at the level of the phosphate chain was studied by preparing a cyclic 3',5'-diphosphate analogue, a 3'-diphosphate analogue, and several dinucleotide diphosphates. 5-Iodo-UDP 32 (EC50 = 0.15 microM) was equipotent to UDP, while substitutions of the 2'-hydroxyl (amino, azido) greatly reduce potency. The 2- and 4-thio analogues, 20 and 21, respectively, were also relatively potent in comparison to UDP. However, most other modifications greatly reduced potency. Molecular modeling indicates that the beta-phosphate of 5'-UDP and analogues is essential for the establishment of electrostatic interactions with two of the three conserved cationic residues of the receptor. Among 4-thioether derivatives, a 4-ethylthio analogue 23 displayed an EC50 of 0.28 microM, indicative of favorable interactions predicted for a small 4-alkylthio moiety with the aromatic ring of Y33 in TM1. The activity of analogue 19 in which the ribose was substituted with a 2-oxabicyclohexane ring in a rigid (S)-conformation (P = 126 degrees , 1'-exo) was consistent with molecular modeling. These results provide a better understanding of molecular recognition at the P2Y6 receptor and will be helpful in designing selective and potent P2Y6 receptor ligands.
Project description:Sulfur- and selenium-modified uridines present in the wobble position of transfer RNAs (tRNAs) play an important role in the precise reading of genetic information and tuning of protein biosynthesis in all three domains of life. Both sulfur and selenium chalcogens functionally operate as key elements of biological molecules involved in the protection of cells against oxidative damage. In this work, 2-thiouracil (S2Ura) and 2-selenouracil (Se2Ura) were treated with hydrogen peroxide at 1:0.5, 1:1, and 1:10 molar ratios and at selected pH values ranging from 5 to 8. It was found that Se2Ura was more prone to oxidation than its sulfur analog, and if reacted with H2O2 at a 1:1 or lower molar ratio, it predominantly produced diselenide Ura-Se-Se-Ura, which spontaneously transformed to a previously unknown Se-containing two-ring compound. Its deselenation furnished the major reaction product, a structure not related to any known biological species. Under the same conditions, only a small amount of S2Ura was oxidized to form Ura-SO2H and uracil (Ura). In contrast, 10-fold excess hydrogen peroxide converted Se2Ura and S2Ura into corresponding Ura-SeOnH and Ura-SOnH intermediates, which decomposed with the release of selenium and sulfur oxide(s) to yield Ura as either a predominant or exclusive product, respectively. Our results confirmed significantly different oxidation pathways of 2-selenouracil and 2-thiouracil.
Project description:Sensory hair cells are exquisitely sensitive to mechanical stimuli and as such, are prone to damage and apoptosis during dissections or in vitro manipulations. Thiouracil (TU)-tagging is a noninvasive method to label cell type-specific transcripts in an intact organism, thereby meeting the challenge of how to analyze gene expression in hair cells without the need to sort cells. We adapted TU-tagging to zebrafish to identify novel transcripts expressed in the sensory hair cells of the developing acoustico-lateralis organs.We created a transgenic line of zebrafish expressing the T.gondii uracil phospho-ribosyltransferase (UPRT) enzyme specifically in the hair cells of the inner ear and lateral line organ. RNA was labeled by exposing 3 days post-fertilization (dpf) UPRT transgenic larvae to 2.5 mM 4-thiouracil (4TU) for 15 hours. Following total RNA isolation, poly(A) mRNA enrichment, and purification of TU-tagged RNA, deep sequencing was performed on the input and TU-tagged RNA samples.Analysis of the RNA sequencing data revealed the expression of 28 transcripts that were significantly enriched (adjusted p-value?<?0.05) in the UPRT TU-tagged RNA relative to the input sample. Of the 25 TU-tagged transcripts with mammalian homologs, the expression of 18 had not been previously demonstrated in zebrafish hair cells. The hair cell-restricted expression for 17 of these transcripts was confirmed by whole mount mRNA in situ hybridization in 3 dpf larvae.The hair cell-restricted pattern of expression of these genes offers insight into the biology of this receptor cell type and may serve as useful markers to study the development and function of sensory hair cells. In addition, our study demonstrates the utility of TU-tagging to study nascent transcripts in specific cell types that are relatively rare in the context of the whole zebrafish larvae.
Project description:Archaea are widespread organisms colonizing almost every habitat on Earth. However, the molecular biology of archaea still remains relatively uncharacterized. RNA metabolism is a central cellular process, which has been extensively analyzed in both bacteria and eukarya. In contrast, analysis of RNA metabolism dynamic in archaea has been limited to date. To facilitate analysis of the RNA metabolism dynamic at a system-wide scale in archaea, we have established non-radioactive pulse labeling of RNA, using the nucleotide analog 4-thiouracil (4TU) in two commonly used model archaea: the halophile Euryarchaeota Haloferax volcanii, and the thermo-acidophile Crenarchaeota Sulfolobus acidocaldarius. In this work, we show that 4TU pulse labeling can be efficiently performed in these two organisms in a dose- and time-dependent manner. In addition, our results suggest that uracil prototrophy had no critical impact on the overall 4TU incorporation in RNA molecules. Accordingly, our work suggests that 4TU incorporation can be widely performed in archaea, thereby expanding the molecular toolkit to analyze archaeal gene expression network dynamic in unprecedented detail.
Project description:This SuperSeries is composed of the following subset Series: GSE2946: Synthesis vs. Abundance, Bradyzoite Development GSE2947: Thiouracil Pulse-chase, Tachyzoites and Bradyzoites mRNA stability data GSE2948: UPRT Transgenic cells, Human Arrays Abstract: Standard microarrays measure mRNA abundance, not mRNA synthesis, and therefore cannot identify the mechanisms that regulate gene expression. We have developed a method to overcome this limitation by using the salvage enzyme uracil phosphoribosyltransferase (UPRT) from the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. T. gondii UPRT has been well characterized because of its application in monitoring parasite growth: mammals lack this enzyme activity and thus only the parasite incorporates (3)H-uracil into its nucleic acids. In this study we used RNA labeling by UPRT to determine the roles of mRNA synthesis and decay in the control of gene expression during T. gondii asexual development. We also used this approach to specifically label parasite RNA during a mouse infection and to incorporate thio-substituted uridines into the RNA of human cells engineered to express T. gondii UPRT, indicating that engineered UPRT expression will allow cell-specific analysis of gene expression in organisms other than T. gondii. Refer to individual Series
Project description:Transcriptional profiling is a powerful approach for understanding development and disease. Current cell type-specific RNA purification methods have limitations, including cell dissociation trauma or inability to identify all RNA species. Here, we describe "mouse thiouracil (TU) tagging," a genetic and chemical intersectional method for covalent labeling and purification of cell type-specific RNA in vivo. Cre-induced expression of uracil phosphoribosyltransferase (UPRT) provides spatial specificity; injection of 4-thiouracil (4TU) provides temporal specificity. Only UPRT(+) cells exposed to 4TU produce thio-RNA, which is then purified for RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). This method can purify transcripts from spatially complex and rare (<5%) cells, such as Tie2:Cre(+) brain endothelia/microglia (76% validated by expression pattern), or temporally dynamic transcripts, such as those acutely induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection. Moreover, generating chimeric mice via UPRT(+) bone marrow transplants identifies immune versus niche spleen RNA. TU tagging provides a novel method for identifying actively transcribed genes in specific cells at specific times within intact mice.