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Chemistry. 2000 Dec 15;6(24):4487-97.

Discrimination of A/T sequences in the minor groove of DNA within a cyclic polyamide motif.

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  • 1Arnold and Mabel Beckman Laboratories of Chemical Synthesis, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 91125, USA.


Eight-ring cyclic polyamides containing pyrrole (Py), imidazole (Im), and hydroxypyrrole (Hp) aromatic amino acids recognize predetermined six base pair sites in the minor groove of DNA. Two four-ring polyamide subunits linked by (R)-2,4-diaminobutyric acid [(R)H2Ngamma] residue form hairpin polyamide structures with enhanced DNA binding properties. In hairpin polyamides, substitution of Hp/Py for Py/Py pairs enhances selectivity for T. A base pairs but compromises binding affinity for specific sequences. In an effort to enhance the binding properties of polyamides containing Hp/Py pairings, four eight ring cyclic polyamides were synthesized and analyzed on a DNA restriction fragment containing three 6-bp sites 5'-tAGNNCTt-3', where NN = AA, TA, or AT. Quantitative footprint titration experiments demonstrate that contiguous placement of Hp/Py pairs in cyclo-(gamma-ImPyPyPy-(R)H2Ngamma-ImHpHpPy-) (1) provides a 20-fold increase in affinity for the 5'-tAGAACTt-3' site (Ka = 7.5 x 10(7)M(-1)) relative to ImPyPyPy-(R)H2Ngamma-ImHpHpPy-C3-OH (2). A cyclic polyamide of sequence composition cyclo-(gamma-ImHpPyPy-(R)H2Ngamma-ImHpPyPy-) (3) binds a 5'-tAGTACTt-3' site with an equilibrium association constant KA= 3.2 x 10(9)M(-1), representing a fivefold increase relative to the hairpin analogue ImHpPyPy-(R)H2Ngamma-ImHpPyPy-C3-OH (4). Arrangement of Hp/Py pairs in a 3'-stagger regulates specificity of cyclo-(gamma-ImPyHpPy-(R)H2Ngamma-ImPyHpPy-) (5) for the 5'-tAGATCTt-3' site (Ka = 7.5 x 10(7)M(-1)) threefold increase in affinity relative to the hairpin analogue ImPyHpPy-(R)H2Ngamma-ImPyHpPy-C3-OH (6), respectively. This study identifies cyclic polyamides as a viable motif for restoring recognition properties of polyamides containing Hp/Py pairs.

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