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

The binding mode of drugs to the TAR RNA of HIV-1 studied by electric linear dichroism.

For the first time, the interaction between a series of small molecules and the TAR RNA of HIV-1 has been investigated by electric linear dichroism (ELD). The compounds tested include the DNA intercalating drugs proflavine and ethidium bromide and an amsacrine-4-carboxamide DNA-threading intercalator as well as the AT-specific DNA minor groove binders netropsin, Hoechst 33258, berenil and DAPI. In all cases except for netropsin, negative reduced dichroism signals were measured in the drug absorption band. In agreement with previous studies, the results indicate that both classical and threading intercalation can occur with the TAR RNA. The ELD data show that the mode of binding of the drugs Hoechst 33258, berenil and DAPI to the TAR RNA is similar to their binding mode in GC-rich regions of DNA and likely involves intercalation into the A-form TAR RNA helix. The wide and shallow minor groove of the TAR RNA is apparently not accessible to DNA minor groove binding drugs such as netropsin. The ELD technique appears uniquely valuable as a means of investigating the interaction of drugs with the TAR RNA.[1]


  1. The binding mode of drugs to the TAR RNA of HIV-1 studied by electric linear dichroism. Bailly, C., Colson, P., Houssier, C., Hamy, F. Nucleic Acids Res. (1996) [Pubmed]
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