Effect of Structural Factors on the Stability of Duplexes Formed by Oligonucleotide Conjugates with Minor Groove Binders

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The effect of structural factors on the stability of duplexes formed by DNA minor groove binders conjugated with oligonucleotide mono- or diphosphoramidates of the general formula Oligo-MGBm (where Oligo is an oligonucleotide; m = 1 or 2; MGB is -L(Py)2R, -L(Py)4R, -L(Im)4R, or -L(Py)4NH(CH2)3CO(Py)4R; Py is a 4-aminopyrrole-2-carboxylic acid residue; L is a γ-aminobutyric acid or an ε-aminocaproic acid residue, R = OEt, NH(CH2)6NEt2, or NH(CH2)6N+Me3) was studied by the method of thermal denaturation. The mode of binder interaction with the minor groove depends on the conjugate structure; it may be of the parallel head to head type for bisphosphoramidates and of the antiparallel head to tail type for monophosphoramidates of a hairpin structure. The effects of the duplexes with parallel orientation (bisphosphoramidates, MGB is L(Py)4R, m = 2) and those of the hairpin structure with the antiparallel orientation (monophosphoramidates, MGB is L(Py)4(CH2)3CO(Py)4R, m = 1) on Tm values were close. The influence of the linker (L) and substituent (R) structures upon Tm was more pronounced for monophosphoramidate (MGB is L(Py)nR, m = 1) than for bisphosphoramidate (MGB is L(Py)nR, m = 2). No more than two oligopyrrolecarboxamide residues (either in parallel or antiparallel orientations) can be incorporated into the duplex minor groove. Moreover, it was shown by the example of monophosphoramidates (Oligo-L(Py)4R and Oligo-L(Py)4NH(CH2)3CO(Py)4R) that the addition of a second ligand capable of incorporation into the minor groove increased Tm of the corresponding duplex in comparison with the duplex formed by the starting monophosphoramidate. At the same time, the introduction of a ligand incapable of incorporating decreased the Tm value. The mode of interaction of the conjugated binder with the oligonucleotide duplex is determined by its structure. For example, dipyrrolecarboxamide containing an ethoxy group at the binder C-end stabilizes the duplex due to stacking interaction with the terminal A · T pair, whereas tetrapyrrolecarboxamides stabilize the duplex by incorporation into the minor groove.

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