|dc.description.abstract||The thesis entitled “Novel Distamycin Frameworks for Enhancement and Photoregulation of DNA binding and Stabilization of Higher Order DNA Structures” has been divided into 4 chapters. Chapter 1 reviews the current trends in the design of DNA binding small molecules with sequence specific and secondary structure specific DNA recognition characteristics and their role in regulation of transcription and gene modification events. Chapter 2 describes an efficient conjugation of distamycin analogue with oligonucleotide stretches to enhance the specificity and selectivity of the hybrids compared to the covalently unlinked entities. Chapter 3A and 3B present an approach to achieve photoregulation of distamycin binding on duplex DNA minor groove surface via its conjugation with various types of photoisomerizable azobenzene moieties. Chapter 4A and 4B deal with the conjugation of distamycin with higher order DNA structure recognizable small molecule, DAPER to finely tune hybrid ligand recognition at either quadruplex or duplex-quadruplex junction of DNA.
Chapter 1. Design of DNA Interacting Small Molecules: Role in Transcription Regulation and Target for Anticancer Drug Discovery
Regulation of transcription machinery is one of the many ways to achieve control gene expression. This has been done either at the transcription initiation stage or at the elongation stage. There are different methodologies known to inhibit transcription initiation via targeting of double-stranded (ds) DNA by i) synthetic oligonucleotides, ii) ds-DNA specific, sequence selective minor groove binders (distamycin A), intercalators (daunomycin) (Figure 1), combilexins, and iii) small molecule (peptide or intercalator)-oligonucleotide conjugates. In some cases, instead of duplex DNA, higher order triple helix or quadruplex structures are formed at transcription start site. In this regard triplex and quadruplex DNA specific small molecules (e.g. BQQ, Telomestatin etc.) play a significant role for inhibiting transcription machinery (Figure 1). These different types of designer DNA binding agents act as powerful sequence-specific gene modulators, by exerting their effect from transcription regulation to gene modification. But most of these chemotherapeutic agents have side effects. So there is always a challenge remaining with these designer DNA binding molecules, to achieve maximum specific DNA binding affinity, cellular and nuclear transport activity without affecting the functions of normal cells. This could be done either modifying the drug or using two or three effective drugs together to inhibit gene expression to the maximum extent.
Figure 1. Molecular structures of different DNA interacting small molecules. Distamycin A and daunomycin bind to ds-DNA, BQQ binds to triple helical DNA and Telomestatin stabilizes quadruplex DNA structure.
Chapter 2. Efficient Conjugation and Characterization of Distamycin based Peptide with Selected Oligonucleotide Stretches
A variety of groove-binding agents have been tethered to DNA sequences to improve the antisense and antigene activities and to achieve greater stabilization of the duplex and triplex structures. Unfortunately however, the methods of such tethering are often not available and sometimes not reproducible. Therefore there is a necessity to develop an efficient and general procedure for conjugation. So we have accomplished a convenient and efficient synthesis of five novel distamycin-oligodeoxyribonucleotide (ODN) conjugates where C-terminus of a distamycin derivative has been covalently attached with the 5′-end of selected ODN stretches 5′-d(GCTTTTTTCG)-3′, 5′-d(GCTATATACG)-3′and 5′-AGCGCGCGCA-3′(Figure 2). Selected sequences of ODNs containing aldehyde functionality at 5′-end were synthesized, and efficiently conjugated with reactive cysteine and oxyamine functionalities present at C-terminus of distamycin-based peptide to form five membered thiazolidine ring and oxime linkages respectively. The specificity of distamycin binding and the duplex DNA stabilizing properties resulting from the hybridization of these ODN-distamycin conjugates to sequences of appropriate ODN stretches have been examined by UV-melting temperature measurements, temperature dependent circular dichroism studies and fluorescence displacement assay using Hoechst 33258 as a minor groove competitor. These studies reinforce the fact that the specific stabilization of A-T rich duplex DNA by ODN-distamycin conjugates compared to unlinked subunits. It is evident that the distamycin conjugates are more selective in binding to ODNs containing a continuous stretch of A/T base pairs rather than the one having alternating A/T tracts.
Figure 2. Chemical structures of covalent conjugates of distamycin derivative with selected ODN stretches using thiazolidine, 1 and oxime linkages, 2.
Chapter 3A. Synthesis and Duplex DNA Binding Properties of Photoswitchable Dimeric Distamycins based on Bis-alkoxy substituted Azobenzenes
Two azobenzene distamycin conjugates 2 and 3 (Figure 3) bearing tetra N-methylpyrrole based polyamide groups at the ortho and para position of the dialkoxy substituted azobenzene core were synthesized. The photoisomerization processes of ligands 2 and 3 were examined by irradiating them at ∼355-360 nm followed by UV-vis spectroscopy and 1H-NMR analysis. DNA binding affinity of individual conjugates and the changes in DNA binding efficiency during photoisomerization process were studied in details by circular dichroism spectroscopy, thermal denaturation and Hoechst displacement assay using poly [d(A-T)] at 150 mM NaCl. It has been found that 1 mM DMSO solution of ortho substituted ligand 3 required ∼25 min to form ∼2/8 [E]/[Z] isomeric forms while the para substituted analogue, 2 required ∼10 min to achieve ∼100% cis isomeric form at photostationary state. The conformational freedom of distamycin is restricted while tethered to azobenzene moiety and this loss of flexibility was pronounced with ortho substituted analogue 3 compared to its para substituted counterpart, 2. This was reflected from lower induced circular dichroism (ICD) intensity, lower apparent binding constant and requirement of higher ligand concentration to saturate minor groove binding by distamycin in ligand 3 compared to 2. Finally, higher ICD intensity for cis form and enhancement of ICD intensity via irradiation of DNA bound trans form indicates that photoisomerization process indeed changes the overall shape of the molecule. This in turn might help orientation of some of the amide groups in close proximity with the minor groove surface and improve ligand recognition on duplex DNA.
Figure 3. Chemical structures of distamycin derivative, 1, ortho and para dialkoxy substituted azobenzene-distamycin conjugates, 2 and 3.
Trans-to-cis isomerization of 3 did not significantly improve DNA binding of both distamycin arms compared to ligand 2. The unique characteristics of both isomeric forms of azobenzene-distamycin conjugates are co-operative binding nature on minor groove surface and higher duplex DNA stabilization of ∼7-11 oC more compared to that of their parent distamycin analogue, 1. However, overall difference in the DNA recognition between both isomerized forms has not been highly dramatic.
Chapter 3B. Synthesis and Duplex DNA binding Properties of Photoswitchable Dimeric Distamycins based on Bis-carboxamido substituted Azobenzenes
The synthesis and DNA binding properties of a dimeric distamycin-azobenzene conjugate bearing N-methyl tetrapyrrole (ligand 4) and tripyrrole (ligand 5) based polyamide groups at 4,4′position of the carboxyl substituted azobenzene core have been presented (Figure 4). Distamycin arm has been connected to the azobenzene core via short (∼5 Å) ethylene diamine and long (∼9 Å) N-methyldiethylenetriamine linkages. These features ensure protonation of the distamycin derivative either at the C-terminus for ligand 4 or at the N-terminus for ligand 5 at physiological pH. Photoirradiation at ∼330-340 nm of 1 mM DMSO solution required ∼3.5 h for 4 and ∼1.5 h for 5 to form ∼8/2 [E]/[Z] isomeric forms at photostationary state. The kinetics of photoisomerization and DNA binding nature of both photoisomerized forms (trans and cis) have been characterized by UV-vis, NMR, CD spectroscopy, thermal denaturation studies and Hoechst displacement assay. Greater difference in DNA binding affinity between two isomeric forms of short linker based azobenzene-distamycin conjugate has been achieved. The above fact has been proved by higher apparent DNA binding constant of cis form of 5 compared to the corresponding trans form. The short linker based conjugate is more appropriate in translating configurational change from azobenzene moiety to the end of peptide backbone unlike the one with flexible and long linker. Greater change achieved upon photoisomerization of the azobenzene-distamycin conjugates in cis-form of 5 might bring both distamycin arms in closer proximity and enhanced proximal hydrogen bonding contacts between ligand and DNA bases. At the same time the short spacer and most probably the position of positive charge on the oligopeptide backbone also influenced DNA binding of both distamycin arms in azobenzene-distamycin conjugates, 5 compared to either 1 or long spacer based ligand, 4. Both azobenzene-distamycin hybrid molecules
are able to stabilize duplex poly [d(A-T)] motif by ∼14-18 oC more than the parent distamycin analogue, 1.
Figure 4. Chemical structures of dimeric distamycins based on bis-carboxamido azobenzenes, 4 and 5.
Chapter 4A. Design and Synthesis of Novel Distamycin-DAPER Covalent Conjugates. A Comparative Study on the Interaction of Distamycin, DAPER and their Conjugates with G-Quadruplex DNA
To examine the effect of distamycin on the binding of DAPER to G4-quadruplex DNA structure, three novel conjugates of distamycin and DAPER were synthesized. The conjugates are designated as short linker (SL, 2) and long, flexible spacers (ML, 3 and LL, 4) (Figure 5). The efficiency of DAPER, distamycin and different covalent DAPER-distamycin conjugates in the formation and stabilization of both parallel (ODN1, d(TTGGGGTT)) and antiparallel (ODN2, d(GGGGTTTTGGGG)) G-quadruplex structures were evaluated by native PAGE assay, thermal denaturation experiment, absorption spectroscopy and extensive circular dichroism spectroscopic study. DAPER stabilized both parallel and antiparallel quadruplex structures, whereas distamycin analogue, 1 was found to interact only with parallel quadruplex structure at high ligand concentration. The lower ICD intensity near the DAPER absorption region and requirement of higher ligand concentration to saturate ligand binding on quadruplex surface indicate weak binding nature of DAPER-distamycin covalent conjugates in stabilizing G-quadruplex than DAPER. In this context distamycin was found to interfere with favorable DAPER-G-quadruplex interaction and such steric clash between DAPER and distamycin was more prominent with short spacer based conjugates, SL than the ones possessing longer spacer (dioxyethylenic or trioxyethylenic) based ligands, ML and LL.
Figure 5. Chemical structures of distamycin derivative, 1, DAPER and distamycin-DAPER covalent conjugates (2-4).
Chapter 4B. Structure-specific Recognition of Duplex and Quadruplex DNA Motifs by Hybrid Ligands: Influence of the Spacer Chain
Here DAPER-distamycin covalent conjugates were targeted towards mixed duplex quadruplex motif using hybrid DNA (ODN3, d(CGCTTTTTTGCGGGGTTAGGG) and ODN4, d(CGCAAAAAAGCG)) sequences. In this regard we have chosen DAPER and 1:1 physical mixture of DAPER and distamycin, as reference molecules to compare the affinity and specificity of the covalent conjugates (SL, ML, LL) in stabilizing mixed duplex-quadruplex motif compared to either duplex or quadruplex structures. Simultaneous formation and stabilization of such hybrid duplex-quadruplex motif in the presence of various covalent DAPER-distamycin conjugates were studied by extensive gel electrophoresis, CD spectroscopy, thermal denaturation and UV-vis absorption experiments in the presence of both NaCl and KCl solutions. All these studies show greater efficiency and selectivity of conjugates possessing longer spacers (ML and LL) in stabilizing both duplex and quadruplex structures with ODN3/ODN4 DNA motif compared to single stranded ODN3 sequence. Here distamycin binding to the duplex motif encourages DAPER-quadruplex interaction and stabilizes both tetrameric and one isomeric form of dimeric quadruplex structure compared to the ligand with short spacer, SL and 1:1 physical mixtures of distamycin and DAPER (Scheme 1). Conjugate SL failed to target both duplex and quadruplex entity together as short spacer length did not allow simultaneous participation of both distamycin and DAPER moiety for optimal interaction with duplex and quadruplex structures concomitantly.
Possible modes of interactions between different DAPER-distamycin covalent conjugates with ODN3/ODN4 DNA sequences are depicted in Scheme 1.
(For structural formula pl see the pdf file)||en_US