Molecules that can target duplex DNA with sequence selectivity have the potential to be useful tools in genomic research and also as therapeutic agents. Homopurine-homopyrimidine stretches in duplex DNA can be recognized by homopurine or homopyrimidine TFOs (triplex-forming oligonucleotides) through the formation of triplex DNA. We have previously developed bicyclic nucleoside analogues (WNAs) for the formation of stable triplexes in the formation of stable antiparallel triplexes containing a TA or a CG interrupting site. In this study, we investigated the effects on triplex DNA formation of ortho-, meta-, and para-methyl substituent groups on the aromatic ring of the WNA analogue. It was found that the homopurine TFO containing meta- and para-methyl-substituted WNA-βT (mMe-WNA-βT, pMe-WNA-βT) stabilized triplexes containing a TA interrupting site or a GC site, respectively. Interestingly, the ortho-methyl-substituted WNA-βT (oMe-WNA-βT) efficiently promoted DNA strand displacement to form the TFO/pyrimidine duplex. A detailed investigation showed that the duplex was in the antiparallel orientation and that its formation took place prior to triplex formation with the need for a magnesium cation. NOESY measurements indicated a significant difference in the rotation flexibilities of the phenyl rings of WNA-βTs: that is, the conformation of the ortho-methylated phenyl ring was stable in a temperature-independent manner. It was speculated that the initial formation of a ternary complex was followed by strand displacement and then the formation of the TFO/pyrimidine duplex together with the TFO2/pyrimidine triplex formation during the early stage, and that the equilibrium shifted to the triplex during the later stage. Although the detailed role is still uncertain, the fixed phenyl ring of oMe-WNA-βT might play a role in the displacement reaction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Organic Chemistry