M Di Antonio, F Doria, SN Richter, C Bertipaglia, M Mella, C Sissi, M Palumbo, M Freccero
J Am Chem Soc
We have developed novel G-quadruplex (G-4) ligand/alkylating hybrid structures, tethering the naphthalene diimide moiety to quaternary ammonium salts of Mannich bases, as quinone-methide precursors, activatable by mild thermal digestion (40 degrees C). The bis-substituted naphthalene diimides were efficiently synthesized, and their reactivity as activatable bis-alkylating agents was investigated in the presence of thiols and amines in aqueous buffered solutions. The electrophilic intermediate, quinone-methide, involved in the alkylation process was trapped, in the presence of ethyl vinyl ether, in a hetero Diels-Alder [4 + 2] cycloaddition reaction, yielding a substituted 2-ethoxychroman. The DNA recognition and alkylation properties of these new derivatives were investigated by gel electrophoresis, circular dichroism, and enzymatic assays. The alkylation process occurred preferentially on the G-4 structure in comparison to other DNA conformations. By dissecting reversible recognition and alkylation events, we found that the reversible process is a prerequisite to DNA alkylation, which in turn reinforces the G-quadruplex structural rearrangement.