A Dual-Specific Targeting Approach Based on the Simultaneous Recognition of Duplex and Quadruplex Motifs
Nguyen, Thi Quynh Ngoc
Lim, Kah Wai
Phan, Anh Tuân
Date of Issue2017
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Small-molecule ligands targeting nucleic acids have been explored as potential therapeutic agents. Duplex groove-binding ligands have been shown to recognize DNA in a sequence-specific manner. On the other hand, quadruplex-binding ligands exhibit high selectivity between quadruplex and duplex, but show limited discrimination between different quadruplex structures. Here we propose a dual-specific approach through the simultaneous application of duplex- and quadruplex-binders. We demonstrated that a quadruplex-specific ligand and a duplex-specific ligand can simultaneously interact at two separate binding sites of a quadruplex-duplex hybrid harbouring both quadruplex and duplex structural elements. Such a dual-specific targeting strategy would combine the sequence specificity of duplex-binders and the strong binding affinity of quadruplex-binders, potentially allowing the specific targeting of unique quadruplex structures. Future research can be directed towards the development of conjugated compounds targeting specific genomic quadruplex-duplex sites, for which the linker would be highly context-dependent in terms of length and flexibility, as well as the attachment points onto both ligands.
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