Triplex-forming oligonucleotides (TFOs) are potential DNA-targeting molecules and would become powerful tools for genomic research. As the stabilization of the TFO is partially provided by hydrogen bonds to purine bases, the most stable triplexes form with homopurine/homopyrimidine sequences, and a pyrimidine base in the purine strand of the duplex interrupts triplex formation. If a TFO can recognize sequences including such an interrupting site, the target regions in the genome would be expanded to a greater extent. However, this problem has not been generally solved despite extensive studies. We have previously reported a new base analogue (WNA) constructed of three parts, a benzene ring, a heterocyclic ring, and a bicyclic skeleton to hold these two parts. In this study, we have further investigated modification of WNA systematically and determined two useful WNA analogues, WNA-βT and WNA-βC, for selective stabilization of triplexes at a TA and a CG interrupting site, respectively. The triplexes with WNA analogues have exhibited an interesting property in that they are more stable than natural-type triplexes even at low Mg 2+ concentration. From comparison of the results with H-WNA-βT lacking benzene and those with WNA-H without thymine, it has been suggested that benzene is a major contributor for triplex stability and thymine provides selectivity. Thus, it has been successfully demonstrated that WNA-βT/TA and WNA-βC/CG combinations may expand triplex recognition codes in addition to the natural A/AT and G/GC base triplet codes. The results of this study will provide useful information for the design of new WNA analogues to overcome inherent problems for further expansion of triplex recognition codes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry