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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Major versus minor groove DNA binding of a bisarginylporphyrin hybrid molecule: a molecular mechanics investigation.

On the basis of theoretical computations, we have recently synthesised [Perrée-Fauvet, M. and Gresh, N., Tetrahedron Lett., 36 (1995) 4227] a bisarginyl conjugate of a tricationic porphyrin ( BAP), designed to target, in the major groove of DNA, the d(GGC GCC)2 sequence which is part of the primary binding site of the HIV-1 retrovirus site [Wain-Hobson, S. et al., Cell, 40 (1985) 9]. In the theoretical model, the chromophore intercalates at the central d(CpG)2 step and each of the arginyl arms targets O6/N7 belonging to guanine bases flanking the intercalation site. Recent IR and UV-visible spectroscopic studies have confirmed the essential features of these theoretical predictions [Mohammadi, S. et al., Biochemistry, 37 (1998) 6165]. In the present study, we compare the energies of competing intercalation modes of BAP to several double-stranded oligonucleotides, according to whether one, two or three N-methylpyridinium rings project into the major groove. Correspondingly, three minor groove binding modes were considered, the arginyl arms now targeting N3, O2 sites belonging to the purine or pyrimidine bases flanking the intercalation site. This investigation has shown that: (i) in both the major and minor grooves, the best-bound complexes have the three N-methylpyridinium rings in the groove opposite to that of the phenyl group bearing the arginyl arms; (ii) major groove binding is preferred over minor groove binding by a significant energy (29 kcal/ mol); and (iii) the best-bound sequence in the major groove is d(GGC GCC)2 with two successive guanines upstream from the intercalation. On the other hand, due to the flexibility of the arginyl arms, other GC-rich sequences have close binding energies, two of them being less stable than it by less than 8 kcal/ mol. These results serve as the basis for the design of derivatives of BAP with enhanced sequence selectivities in the major groove.[1]


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