Synthesis of Oligonucleotides Containing 2'-N-alkylaminocarbonyl-2'-amino-LNA (2'-urea-LNA) Moieties Using Post-Synthetic Modification Strategy.
ABSTRACT: The post-synthetic modification of an oligonucleotide is a powerful strategy for the synthesis of various analogs of the oligonucleotide, aiming to achieve the desired functions. In this study, we synthesized the thymidine phosphoramidite of 2'-N-pentafluorophenoxycarbonyl-2'-amino-LNA, which was introduced into oligonucleotides. Oligonucleotides containing a 2'-N-pentafluorophenoxycarbonyl-2'-amino-LNA unit could be isolated under ultra-mild deprotection conditions (50 mM K2CO3 in MeOH at room temperature for 4 h). Moreover, by treatment with various amines as a post-synthetic modification, the oligonucleotides were successfully converted into the corresponding 2'-N-alkylaminocarbonyl-2'-amino-LNA (2'-urea-LNA) derivatives. The duplex- and triplex-forming abilities of the synthesized oligonucleotides were evaluated by UV-melting experiments, which showed that 2'-urea-LNAs could stabilize the nucleic acid complexes, similar to the proto-type, 2'-amino-LNA. Thus, 2'-urea-LNAs could be promising units for the modification of oligonucleotides; the design of a substituent on urea may aid the formation of useful oligonucleotides. In addition, pentafluorophenoxycarbonyl, an amino moiety, acted as a precursor of the substituted urea, which may be applicable to the synthesis of oligonucleotide conjugates.
Project description: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 design of antisense oligonucleotides containing locked nucleic acids (LNA) was optimized and compared to intensively studied DNA oligonucleotides, phosphorothioates and 2'-O-methyl gapmers. In contradiction to the literature, a stretch of seven or eight DNA monomers in the center of a chimeric DNA/LNA oligonucleotide is necessary for full activation of RNase H to cleave the target RNA. For 2'-O-methyl gapmers a stretch of six DNA monomers is sufficient to recruit RNase H. Compared to the 18mer DNA the oligonucleotides containing LNA have an increased melting temperature of 1.5-4 degrees C per LNA depending on the positions of the modified residues. 2'-O-methyl nucleotides increase the T(m) by only <1 degree C per modification and the T(m) of the phosphorothioate is reduced. The efficiency of an oligonucleotide in supporting RNase H cleavage correlates with its affinity for the target RNA, i.e. LNA > 2'-O-methyl > DNA > phosphorothioate. Three LNAs at each end of the oligonucleotide are sufficient to stabilize the oligonucleotide in human serum 10-fold compared to an unmodified oligodeoxynucleotide (from t(1/2) = approximately 1.5 h to t(1/2) = approximately 15 h). These chimeric LNA/DNA oligonucleotides are more stable than isosequential phosphorothioates and 2'-O-methyl gapmers, which have half-lives of 10 and 12 h, respectively.
Project description:The development of conformationally restricted nucleotide building blocks continues to attract considerable interest because of their successful use within antisense, antigene, and other gene-targeting strategies. Locked nucleic acid (LNA) and its diastereomer ?-L-LNA are two interesting examples thereof. Oligonucleotides modified with these units display greatly increased affinity toward nucleic acid targets, improved binding specificity, and enhanced enzymatic stability relative to unmodified strands. Here we present the synthesis and biophysical characterization of oligodeoxyribonucleotides (ONs) modified with 2'-amino-?-L-LNA adenine monomers W-Z. The synthesis of the target phosphoramidites 1-4 is initiated from pentafuranose 5, which upon Vorbrüggen glycosylation, O2'-deacylation, O2'-activation and C2'-azide introduction yields nucleoside 8. A one-pot tandem Staudinger/intramolecular nucleophilic substitution converts 8 into 2'-amino-?-L-LNA adenine intermediate 9, which after a series of nontrivial protecting-group manipulations affords key intermediate 15. Subsequent chemoselective N2'-functionalization and O3'-phosphitylation give targets 1-4 in ~1-3% overall yield over 11 steps from 5. ONs modified with pyrene-functionalized 2'-amino-?-L-LNA adenine monomers X-Z display greatly increased affinity toward DNA targets (?Tm/modification up to +14 °C). Results from absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy suggest that the duplex stabilization is a result of pyrene intercalation. These characteristics render N2'-pyrene-functionalized 2'-amino-?-L-LNAs of considerable interest for DNA-targeting applications.
Project description:Locked nucleic acid (LNA) oligonucleotides bind DNA target sequences forming Watson-Crick and Hoogsteen base pairs, and are therefore of interest for medical applications. To be biologically active, such an oligonucleotide has to efficiently bind the target sequence. Here we used molecular dynamics simulations and electrophoresis mobility shift assays to elucidate the relation between helical structure and affinity for LNA-containing oligonucleotides. In particular, we have studied how LNA substitutions in the polypyrimidine strand of a duplex (thus forming a hetero duplex, i.e. a duplex with a DNA polypurine strand and an LNA/DNA polypyrimidine strand) enhance triplex formation. Based on seven polypyrimidine single strand oligonucleotides, having LNAs in different positions and quantities, we show that alternating LNA with one or more non-modified DNA nucleotides pre-organizes the hetero duplex toward a triple-helical-like conformation. This in turn promotes triplex formation, while consecutive LNAs distort the duplex structure disfavoring triplex formation. The results support the hypothesis that a pre-organization in the hetero duplex structure enhances the binding of triplex forming oligonucleotides. Our findings may serve as a criterion in the design of new tools for efficient oligonucleotide hybridization.
Project description:Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are small regulatory RNAs that play an important role in disease development and progression and therefore represent a potential new class of therapeutic targets. However, an effective and safe clinical approach for miRNA inhibition remains elusive, primarily due to the lack of effective delivery methods. We proposed to inhibit miRNA by electrotransferring an antisense DNA oligomer containing locked nucleic acids (LNAs) (LNA/DNA oligomer). We observed that electropulsation (EP) led to a strong cellular uptake of LNA/DNA oligomer. The LNA/DNA oligomer electrotransfer mechanism and intracellular localization were visually investigated in real time at the single-cell level. Cyanine 5-labeled oligonucleotide entered exclusively during pulse application on the side of the permeabilized cell membrane facing the cathode, driven by electrophoretic forces. Minutes after the electrotransfer, the LNA/DNA oligomer diffused into the nucleus. EP provided the anti-miRNA oligomer with immediate and direct access to its cytoplasmic mature miRNA target and/or its nuclear precursor miRNA target. We then demonstrated using a LNA/DNA oligomer anti-miR34a that LNA/DNA oligomer electrotransfer decreased the level of the miR34a target and induced its functional inhibition. Our findings show that using the electrotransfer technique for LNA-based oligonucleotide delivery is a promising therapeutic strategy to silence deleterious miRNAs overexpressed in diseases.
Project description:The solution structure of a locked nucleic acid (LNA) quadruplex, formed by the oligomer d(TGGGT), containing only conformationally restricted LNA residues is reported. NMR and CD spectroscopy, as well as molecular dynamics and mechanic calculations, has been used to characterize the complex. The molecule adopts a parallel stranded conformation with a 4-fold rotational symmetry, showing a right-handed helicity and the guanine residues in an almost planar conformation with three well-defined G-tetrads. The thermal stability of Q-LNA has been found to be comparable with that of [r(UGGGU)]4, while a T(m) increment of 20 degrees C with respect to the corresponding DNA quadruplex structure [d(TGGGT)]4 has been observed. The structural features of the LNA quadruplex reported here may open new perspectives for the biological application of LNAs as novel versatile tools to design aptamer or catalyst oligonucleotides.
Project description:Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) has emerged as a therapeutic target for the reduction of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). PCSK9 increases the degradation of the LDL receptor, resulting in high LDL-C in individuals with high PCSK9 activity. Here, we show that two locked nucleic acid (LNA) antisense oligonucleotides targeting PCSK9 produce sustained reduction of LDL-C in nonhuman primates after a loading dose (20 mg/kg) and four weekly maintenance doses (5 mg/kg). PCSK9 messenger RNA (mRNA) and serum PCSK9 protein were reduced by 85% which resulted in a 50% reduction in circulating LDL-C. Serum total cholesterol (TC) levels were reduced to the same extent as LDL-C with no reduction in high-density lipoprotein levels, demonstrating a specific pharmacological effect on LDL-C. The reduction in hepatic PCSK9 mRNA correlated with liver LNA oligonucleotide content. This verified that anti-PCSK9 LNA oligonucleotides regulated LDL-C through an antisense mechanism. The compounds were well tolerated with no observed effects on toxicological parameters (liver and kidney histology, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, urea, and creatinine). The pharmacologic evidence and initial safety profile of the compounds used in this study indicate that LNA antisense oligonucleotides targeting PCSK9 provide a viable therapeutic strategy and are potential complements to statins in managing high LDL-C.
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:Locked nucleic acids (LNA; symbols of bases, +A, +C, +G, and +T) are introduced into chemically synthesized oligonucleotides to increase duplex stability and specificity. To understand these effects, we have determined thermodynamic parameters of consecutive LNA nucleotides. We present guidelines for the design of LNA oligonucleotides and introduce free online software that predicts the stability of any LNA duplex oligomer. Thermodynamic analysis shows that the single strand-duplex transition is characterized by a favorable enthalpic change and by an unfavorable loss of entropy. A single LNA modification confines the local conformation of nucleotides, causing a smaller, less unfavorable entropic loss when the single strand is restricted to the rigid duplex structure. Additional LNAs adjacent to the initial modification appear to enhance stacking and H-bonding interactions because they increase the enthalpic contributions to duplex stabilization. New nearest-neighbor parameters correctly forecast the positive and negative effects of LNAs on mismatch discrimination. Specificity is enhanced in a majority of sequences and is dependent on mismatch type and adjacent base pairs; the largest discriminatory boost occurs for the central +C·C mismatch within the +T+C+C sequence and the +A·G mismatch within the +T+A+G sequence. LNAs do not affect specificity in some sequences and even impair it for many +G·T and +C·A mismatches. The level of mismatch discrimination decreases the most for the central +G·T mismatch within the +G+G+C sequence and the +C·A mismatch within the +G+C+G sequence. We hypothesize that these discrimination changes are not unique features of LNAs but originate from the shift of the duplex conformation from B-form to A-form.
Project description:Chemically modified oligonucleotides are increasingly applied in nucleic acid based therapeutics and diagnostics. LNA (locked nucleic acid) and its diastereomer alpha-L-LNA are two promising examples thereof that exhibit increased thermal and enzymatic stability. Herein, the synthesis, biophysical characterization, and molecular modeling of N2'-functionalized 2'-amino-alpha-L-LNA is described. Chemoselective N2'-functionalization of protected amino alcohol 1 followed by phosphitylation afforded a structurally varied set of target phosphoramidites, which were incorporated into oligodeoxyribonucleotides. Incorporation of pyrene-functionalized building blocks such as 2'-N-(pyren-1-yl)carbonyl-2'-amino-alpha-L-LNA (monomer X) led to extraordinary increases in thermal affinity of up to +19.5 degrees C per modification against DNA targets in particular. In contrast, incorporation of building blocks with small nonaromatic N2'-functionalities such as 2'-N-acetyl-2'-amino-alpha-L-LNA (monomer V) had detrimental effects on thermal affinity toward DNA/RNA complements with decreases of as much as -16.5 degrees C per modification. Extensive thermal DNA selectivity, favorable entropic contributions upon duplex formation, hybridization-induced bathochromic shifts of pyrene absorption maxima and increases in circular dichroism signal intensity, and molecular modeling studies suggest that pyrene-functionalized 2'-amino-alpha-L-LNA monomers W-Y having short linkers between the bicyclic skeleton and the pyrene moiety allow high-affinity hybridization with DNA complements and precise positioning of intercalators in nucleic acid duplexes. This rigorous positional control has been utilized for the development of probes for emerging therapeutic and diagnostic applications focusing on DNA targeting.