A single-molecule platform for investigation of interactions between G-quadruplexes and small-molecule ligands

Koirala, Deepak; Dhakal, Soma; Ashbridge, Beth; Sannohe, Yuta; Rodriguez, Raphaël; Sugiyama, Hiroshi; Balasubramanian, Shankar; Mao, Hanbin
October 2011
Nature Chemistry;Oct2011, Vol. 3 Issue 10, p782
Academic Journal
Ligands that stabilize the formation of telomeric DNA G-quadruplexes have potential as cancer treatments, because the G-quadruplex structure cannot be extended by telomerase, an enzyme over-expressed in many cancer cells. Understanding the kinetic, thermodynamic and mechanical properties of small-molecule binding to these structures is therefore important, but classical ensemble assays are unable to measure these simultaneously. Here, we have used a laser tweezers method to investigate such interactions. With a force jump approach, we observe that pyridostatin promotes the folding of telomeric G-quadruplexes. The increased mechanical stability of pyridostatin-bound G-quadruplex permits the determination of a dissociation constant Kd of 490 ± 80 nM. The free-energy change of binding obtained from a Hess-like process provides an identical Kd for pyridostatin and a Kd of 42 ± 3 µM for a weaker ligand RR110. We anticipate that this single-molecule platform can provide detailed insights into the mechanical, kinetic and thermodynamic properties of liganded bio-macromolecules, which have biological relevance.


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