Antitumor Polycyclic Acridines. Part 16. Triplex DNA as a Target for DNA-Binding Polycyclic Acridine Derivatives

Missailidis, Sotiris; Modi, Chetna; Trapani, Valentina; Laughton, Charles A. and Stevens, Malcolm F.G. (2005). Antitumor Polycyclic Acridines. Part 16. Triplex DNA as a Target for DNA-Binding Polycyclic Acridine Derivatives. Oncology Research incorporating Anticancer Drug Design, 15(2) pp. 95–105.



Triple-stranded DNA structures have been implicated in a number of major biological processes, including the transcription and translation of a number of genes, as well as in the interaction of DNA with a number of proteins. Furthermore, antigene therapies under development are based on the recognition and binding of a single oligonucleotide strand to a double-stranded sequence, thus forming a triple helix. Triplex DNA formation is a relatively weak and temporary phenomenon; therefore, molecules that selectively bind to and stabilize triple helices may show a variety of novel biological effects. The biophysical and biological characterization of a series of antitumor polycyclic acridines that bind to triplex DNA is reported. These compounds, whose synthesis has been previously reported, have been tested for their interaction with both purine and pyrimidine type triple helices and compared with the relevant double-stranded DNA. As a pyrimidine triplex model we have used the T*AT sequence, which we have compared with the AT duplex, whereas the purine triplex oligonucleotide d[G(3)A(4)G(3)]*d[G(3)A(4)G(3)].d[C3T4C3] has been compared with the duplex d[G(3)A(4)G(3)].d[C3T4C3]. The compounds demonstrate various degrees of preferential binding to triplex DNA over normal duplex DNA, as measured by UV, fluorescence, circular dichroism, and thermal denaturation. Tri-substituted acridine derivatives demonstrated the highest affinity and ability to stabilize triplex DNA structures. Furthermore, structure/affinity analysis gives insights into the structural features that optimize affinity and selectivity for triplex DNA, and may play a role in their profile of antitumor activity.

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