Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Adaptive and Specific Recognition of Telomeric G-Quadruplexes via Polyvalency Induced Unstacking of Binding Units

Jibin Abraham Punnoose , Yue Ma, Yuanyuan Li, Mai Sakuma, Shankar Mandal, Kazuo Nagasawa, and Hanbin Mao
Targeting DNA G-quadruplexes using small-molecule ligands has shown to modulate biological functions mediated by G-quadruplexes inside cells. Given >716 000 G-quadruplex hosting sites in human genome, the specific binding of ligands to quadruplex becomes problematic. Here, we innovated a polyvalency based mechanism to specifically target multiple telomeric G-quadruplexes. We synthesized a tetrameric telomestatin derivative and evaluated its complex polyvalent binding with multiple G-quadruplexes by single-molecule mechanical unfolding in laser tweezers. We found telomestatin tetramer binds to multimeric telomeric G-quadruplexes >40 times stronger than monomeric quadruplexes, which can be ascribed to the polyvalency induced unstacking of binding units (or PIU binding) for G-quadruplexes. While stacking of telomestatin units in the tetramer imparts steric hindrance for the ligand to access stand-alone G-quadruplexes, the stacking disassembles to accommodate the potent polyvalent binding between the tetramer ligand and multimeric G-quadruplexes. We anticipate this adaptive PIU binding offers a generic mechanism to selectively target polymeric biomolecules prevalent inside cells.

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