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Adv Inorg Biochem. 1994;9:41-74.

Artificial ribonucleases.

Author information

  • Department of Chemistry, State University of New York at Buffalo 14214.

Abstract

Many inorganic and organic compounds promote the reactions catalyzed by RNase A. Both the transesterification step, where a 2',3'-cyclic phosphate is formed with concomitant cleavage of RNA, and the hydrolysis step, where the 2',3'-cyclic phosphate is converted to a phosphate monoester, may be mimicked with compounds that are readily synthesized in the laboratory. Electrophilic activation of the phosphate ester and charge neutralization are generally important means by which artificial RNases promote phosphate diester displacement reactions. Several artificial RNases operate by a bifunctional general acid/general base mechanism, as does RNase A. Provision of an intramolecular nucleophile appears to be an important pathway for metal complex promoted phosphate diester hydrolysis. In contrast to the successful design of compounds that promote the reactions catalyzed by RNase A, there are no artificial nucleases to date that will cleave the 3' P-O bond of RNA or hydrolyze an oligonucleotide of DNA. Artificial RNases based on both metal complexes and organic compounds have been described. Metal complexes may be particularly effective catalysts for both transesterification and hydrolysis reactions of phosphate diesters. Under physiological conditions (37 degrees C and neutral pH), several metal complexes catalyze the transesterification of RNA. Future work should involve the development of metal complexes which are inert to metal ion release but which maintain open coordination sites for catalytic activity. The design of compounds containing multiple amine or imidazole groups that may demonstrate bifunctional catalysis is a promising route to new artificial RNases. Further design of these compounds and careful placement of catalytic groups may yield new RNase mimics that operate under physiological conditions. The attachment of artificial RNases to recognition agents such as oligodeoxynucleotides to create new sequence-specific endoribonucleases is an exciting field of endeavor. Applications for such sequence-specific endoribonucleases include in vitro manipulations of RNA and the destruction of gene transcripts in vivo. Further work will require the development of new synthetic methodologies for attachment of catalytic cleaving groups to oligodeoxynucleotides.

PMID:
7511321
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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