Naphthalene diimide bis-guanidinio-carbonyl-pyrrole as a pH-switchable threading DNA intercalator.
ABSTRACT: A novel naphthalene diimde analogue (NDI) equipped at the imide positions with two guanidinio-carbonyl-pyrrole (GCP) pendant arms interacted significantly stronger with ds-DNA at pH 5 than at pH 7, due to reversible protonation of the GCP arms. This was consequence of a pH-switchable threading intercalation into ds-DNAs only at pH 5, while at neutral conditions (pH 7) NDI-GCP2 switched to the DNA minor groove binding. Intriguingly, NDI-GCP2 was at both pH values studied bound to the ds-RNA major groove, still showing a higher affinity and thermal denaturation effect at pH 5 due to GCP protonation. At excess over the DNA/RNA conjugate NDI-GCP2 showed also aggregation along the ds-polynucleotide and AFM and DLS demonstrated that NDI-GCP2 has pronounced ds-DNA condensation ability.
Project description:We demonstrate here for the first time that a guanidiniocarbonyl-pyrrole (GCP) unit can be applied for the fine recognition of single stranded RNA sequences-an intuitively unexpected result since so far binding of the GCP unit to ds-DNA or ds-RNA relied strongly on minor or major groove interactions, as shown in previous work. Two novel nucleobase-GCP isosteric conjugates differing in the flexibility of GCP unit revealed a fluorimetric recognition of various single stranded RNA, which could be additionally regulated by pH. The more rigid conjugate showed a specific fluorescence increase for poly A only at pH 7, whereby this response could be reversibly switched-off at pH 5. The more flexible derivative revealed selective fluorescence quenching by poly G at pH 7 but no change for poly A, whereas its recognition of poly AH? can be switched-on at pH 5. The computational analysis confirmed the important role of the GCP fragment and its protonation states in the sensing of polynucleotides and revealed that it is affected by the intrinsic dynamical features of conjugates themselves. Both conjugates showed a negligible response to uracil and cytosine ss-RNA as well as ds-RNA at pH 7, and only weak interactions with ds-DNA. Thus, nucleobase-GCP conjugates can be considered as novel lead compounds for the design of ss-RNA or ss-DNA selective fluorimetric probes.
Project description:G-quadruplex existence was proved in cells by using both antibodies and small molecule fluorescent probes. However, the G-quadruplex probes designed thus far are structure- but not conformation-specific. Recently, a core-extended naphthalene diimide (<b>c<sub>ex</sub>-NDI</b>) was designed and found to provide fluorescent signals of markedly different intensities when bound to G-quadruplexes of different conformations or duplexes. Aiming at evaluating how the fluorescence behaviour of this compound is associated with specific binding modes to the different DNA targets, <b>c<sub>ex</sub>-NDI</b> was here studied in its interaction with hybrid G-quadruplex, parallel G-quadruplex, and B-DNA duplex models by biophysical techniques, molecular docking, and biological assays. <b>c<sub>ex</sub>-NDI</b> showed different binding modes associated with different amounts of stacking interactions with the three DNA targets. The preferential binding sites were the groove, outer quartet, or intercalative site of the hybrid G-quadruplex, parallel G-quadruplex, and B-DNA duplex, respectively. Interestingly, our data show that the fluorescence intensity of DNA-bound <b>c<sub>ex</sub>-NDI</b> correlates with the amount of stacking interactions formed by the ligand with each DNA target, thus providing the rationale behind the conformation-sensitive properties of <b>c<sub>ex</sub>-NDI</b> and supporting its use as a fluorescent probe of G-quadruplex structures. Notably, biological assays proved that <b>c<sub>ex</sub>-NDI</b> mainly localizes in the G-quadruplex-rich nuclei of cancer cells.
Project description:The energetics for binding of a diphenyl diamidine antitrypanosomal agent CGP 40215A to DNA have been studied by spectroscopy, isothermal titration calorimetry, and surface plasmon resonance biosensor methods. Both amidines are positively charged under experimental conditions, but the linking group for the two phenyl amidines has a pK(a) of 6.3 that is susceptible to a protonation process. Spectroscopic studies indicate an increase of 2.7 pK(a) units in the linking group when the compound binds to an A/T minor-groove site. Calorimetric titrations in different buffers and pH conditions support the proton-linkage process and are in a good agreement with spectroscopic titrations. The two methods established a proton-uptake profile as a function of pH. The exothermic enthalpy of complex formation varies with different pH conditions. The observed binding enthalpy increases as a function of temperature indicating a negative heat capacity change that is typical for DNA minor-groove binders. Solvent accessible surface area calculations suggest that surface burial accounts for about one-half of the observed intrinsic negative heat capacity change. Biosensor and calorimetric experiments indicate that the binding affinities vary with pH values and salt concentrations due to protonation and electrostatic interactions. The surface plasmon resonance binding studies indicate that the charge density per phosphate in DNA hairpins is smaller than that in polymers. Energetic contributions from different factors were also estimated for the ligand/DNA complex.
Project description:Targeting double-stranded DNA with small molecules remains an active area of basic research. Herein is described a cyclic DNA bisintercalator that is based on two naphthalene diimide (NDI) intercalating units tethered by one linking element specific for binding in the minor groove and the other linking element specific for binding in the major groove. DNase I footprinting revealed a strong preference for binding the sequence 5'-GGTACC-3'. NMR structural studies of the complex with d(CGGTACCG)(2) verified a pseudocatenane structure in which the NDI units reside four base pairs apart, with one linker segment located in the minor groove and the other in the major groove consistent with the linker designs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first structurally well-characterized pseudocatenane complex between a sequence specific cyclic bisintercalator and intact DNA.
Project description:Two novel unnatural amino acids, prepared by linking a dicationic purple-coloured and fluorescent naphthalene diimide (NDI) at core position to amino acid side chains of variable length, strongly interacted with ds-DNA/RNA by threading intercalation. Different from a reference NDI dye with identical visible range absorbance (520-540 nm) and Stokes shifts in emission (+60 nm, quantum yield > 0.2), only these amino acid-NDI conjugates showed selective fluorimetric response for GC-DNA in respect to AT(U)-polynucleotides. The DNA/RNA binding-induced circular dichroism (ICD) response of NDI at 450-550 nm strongly depended on the length and rigidity of the linker to the amino acid unit, which controls the orientation of the NDI unit inside within the intercalative binding site. The ICD selectivity also depends on the type of polynucleotide, thus the studied NDI dyes act as dual fluorimetric/ICD probes for sensing the difference between here used GC-DNA, AT-DNA and AU-RNA.
Project description:Small molecules that bind DNA in a sequence-specific manner could act as antibiotic, antiviral, or anticancer agents because of their potential ability to manipulate gene expression. Our laboratory has developed threading polyintercalators based on 1,4,5,8-naphthalene diimide (NDI) units connected in a head-to-tail fashion by flexible peptide linkers. Previously, a threading tetraintercalator composed of alternating minor-major-minor groove-binding modules was shown to bind specifically to a 14 bp DNA sequence with a dissociation half-life of 16 days [Holman, G. G., et al. (2011) Nat. Chem. 3, 875-881]. Herein are described new NDI-based tetraintercalators with a different major groove-binding module and a reversed N to C directionality of one of the minor groove-binding modules. DNase I footprinting and kinetic analyses revealed that these new tetraintercalators are able to discriminate, by as much as 30-fold, 14 bp DNA binding sites that differ by 1 or 2 bp. Relative affinities were found to correlate strongly with dissociation rates, while overall C(2) symmetry in the DNA-binding molecule appeared to contribute to enhanced association rates.
Project description:Herein, we report the synthesis, characterisation, X-ray crystallography, and oxidative DNA binding interactions of the copper artificial metallo-nuclease [Cu(DPQ)2(NO3)](NO3), where DPQ = dipyrido[3,2-f:2',3'-h]quinoxaline. The cation [Cu(DPQ)2]2+ (Cu-DPQ), is a high-affinity binder of duplex DNA and presents an intercalative profile in topoisomerase unwinding and viscosity experiments. Artificial metallo-nuclease activity occurs in the absence of exogenous reductant but is greatly enhanced by the presence of the reductant Na-L-ascorbate. Mechanistically, oxidative DNA damage occurs in the minor groove, is mediated aerobically by the Cu(I) complex and is dependent on both superoxide and hydroxyl radical generation. To corroborate cleavage at the minor groove, DNA oxidation of a cytosine-guanine (5'-CCGG-3')-rich oligomer was examined in tandem with a 5-methylcytosine (5'-C5mCGG-3') derivative where 5mC served to sterically block the major groove and direct damage to the minor groove. Overall, both the DNA binding affinity and cleavage mechanism of Cu-DPQ depart from Sigman's reagent [Cu(1,10-phenanthroline)2]2+; however, both complexes are potent oxidants of the minor groove.
Project description:Applications associated with nucleobase protonation events are grounded in their fundamental impact on DNA thermodynamics, structure, and hybridization dynamics. Of the canonical nucleobases, N3 protonation of cytosine (C) is the most widely utilized in both biology and nanotechnology. Naturally occurring C derivatives that shift the N3 p<i>K</i><sub>a</sub> introduce an additional level of tunability. The epigenetic nucleobase 5-carboxylcytosine (caC) presents a particularly interesting example since this derivative forms Watson-Crick base pairs of similar stability and displays pH-dependent behavior over the same range as the canonical nucleobase. However, the titratable group in caC corresponds to the exocyclic carboxyl group rather than N3, and the implications of these divergent protonation events toward DNA hybridization thermodynamics, kinetics, and base pairing dynamics remain poorly understood. Here, we study the pH dependence of these physical properties using model oligonucleotides containing C and caC with FTIR and temperature-jump IR spectroscopy. We demonstrate that N3 protonation of C completely disrupts duplex stability, leading to large shifts in the duplex/single-strand equilibrium, a reduction in the cooperativity of melting, and an acceleration in the rate of duplex dissociation. In contrast, while increasing 5-carboxyl protonation in caC-containing duplexes induces an increase in base pair fluctuations, the DNA duplex can tolerate substantial protonation without significant perturbation to the duplex/single-strand equilibrium. However, 5-carboxyl protonation has a large impact on hybridization kinetics by reducing the transition state free energy. Our thermodynamic and kinetic analysis provides new insight on the impact of two divergent protonation mechanisms in naturally occurring nucleobases on the biophysical properties of DNA.
Project description:The development of small molecules that bind DNA sequence specifically has the potential to modulate gene expression in a general way. One mode of DNA binding is intercalation, or the insertion of molecules between DNA base pairs. We have developed a modular polyintercalation system in which intercalating naphthalene diimide (NDI) units are connected by flexible linkers that alternate between the minor and major grooves of DNA when bound. We recently reported a threading tetraintercalator with a dissociation half-life of 16 days, the longest reported to date, from its preferred 14 bp binding site. Herein, three new tetraintercalator derivatives were synthesized with one, two, and three additional methylene units in the central major groove-binding linker. These molecules displayed dissociation half-lives of 57, 27, and 18 days, respectively, from the 14 bp site. The optimal major groove-binding linker was used in the design of an NDI hexaintercalator that was analyzed by gel-shift assays, DNase I footprinting, and UV-vis spectroscopy. The hexaintercalator bound its entire 22 bp binding site, the longest reported specific binding site for a synthetic, non-nucleic acid-based DNA binding molecule, but with a significantly faster dissociation rate compared to the tetraintercalators.
Project description:To improve the performance of dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical cell (DS-PEC) devices for splitting water, the tailoring of the photocatalytic four-photon water oxidation half-reaction represents a principle challenge of fundamental significance. In this study, a Ru-based water oxidation catalyst (WOC) covalently bound to two 2,6-diethoxy-1,4,5,8-diimide-naphthalene (NDI) dye functionalities provides comparable driving forces and channels for electron transfer. Constrained ab initio molecular dynamics simulations are performed to investigate the photocatalytic cycle of this two-channel model for photocatalytic water splitting. The introduction of a second light-harvesting dye in the Ru-based dye-WOC-dye supramolecular complex enables two separate parallel electron-transfer channels, leading to a five-step catalytic cycle with three intermediates and two doubly oxidized states. The total spin S=1 is conserved during the catalytic process and the system with opposite spin on the oxidized NDI proceeds from the Ru=O intermediate to the final Ru-O<sub>2</sub> intermediate with a triplet molecular <sup>3</sup> O<sub>2</sub> ligand that is eventually released into the environment. The in-depth insight into the proposed photocatalytic cycle of the two-channel model provides a strategy for the development of novel high-efficiency supramolecular complexes for DS-PEC devices with buildup and conservation of spin multiplicity along the reaction coordinate as a design principle.