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Nucleic Acids Res. 2001 Aug 15;29(16):3404-12.

Linked oligodeoxynucleotides show binding cooperativity and can selectively impair replication of deleted mitochondrial DNA templates.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, The Medical School, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK.

Abstract

Mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cause a spectrum of human pathologies, which predominantly affect skeletal muscle and the central nervous system. In patients, mutated and wild-type mtDNAs often co-exist in the same cell (mtDNA heteroplasmy). In the absence of pharmacological therapy, a genetic strategy for treatment has been proposed whereby replication of mutated mtDNA is inhibited by selective hybridisation of a nucleic acid derivative to the single-stranded replication intermediate, allowing propagation of the wild-type genome and correction of the associated respiratory chain defect. Previous studies have shown the efficacy of this anti-genomic approach in vitro, targeting pathogenic mtDNA templates with only a single point mutation. Pathogenic molecules harbouring deletions, however, present a more difficult problem. Deletions often occur at the site of two short repeat sequences (4-13 residues), only one of which is retained in the deleted molecule. With the more common larger repeats it is therefore difficult to design an anti-genomic molecule that will bind selectively across the breakpoint of the deleted mtDNA. To address this problem, we have used linker-substituted oligodeoxynucleotides to bridge the repeated residues. We show that molecules can be designed to bind more tightly to the deleted as compared to the wild-type mtDNA template, consistent with the nucleotide sequence on either side of the linker co-operating to increase binding affinity. Furthermore, these bridging molecules are capable of sequence-dependent partial inhibition of replication in vitro.

PMID:
11504878
PMCID:
PMC55846
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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