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"Dynamical docking" of cyclic dinuclear au(i) bis-n-heterocyclic complexes facilitates their binding to g-quadruplexes

Kaußler, Clemens, Wragg, Darren, Schmidt, Claudia, Moreno-Alcántar, Guillermo, Jandl, Christian, Stephan, Johannes, Fischer, Roland A., Leoni, Stefano ORCID:, Casini, Angela and Bonsignore, Riccardo 2022. "Dynamical docking" of cyclic dinuclear au(i) bis-n-heterocyclic complexes facilitates their binding to g-quadruplexes. Inorganic Chemistry 61 (50) , 20405. 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.2c03041
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With the aim to improve the design of metal complexes as stabilizers of noncanonical DNA secondary structures, namely, G-quadruplexes (G4s), a series of cyclic dinuclear Au(I) N-heterocyclic carbene complexes based on xanthine and benzimidazole ligands has been synthesized and characterized by various methods, including X-ray diffraction. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and CD DNA melting assays unraveled the compounds’ stabilization properties toward G4s of different topologies of physiological relevance. Initial structure–activity relationships have been identified and recognize the family of xanthine derivatives as those more selective toward G4s versus duplex DNA. The binding modes and free-energy landscape of the most active xanthine derivative (featuring a propyl linker) with the promoter sequence cKIT1 have been studied by metadynamics. The atomistic simulations evidenced that the Au(I) compound interacts noncovalently with the top G4 tetrad. The theoretical results on the Au(I) complex/DNA Gibbs free energy of binding were experimentally validated by FRET DNA melting assays. The compounds have also been tested for their antiproliferative properties in human cancer cells in vitro, showing generally moderate activity. This study provides further insights into the biological activity of Au(I) organometallics acting via noncovalent interactions and underlines their promise for tunable targeted applications by appropriate chemical modifications.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Publisher: American Chemical Society
ISSN: 0020-1669
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 February 2023
Date of Acceptance: 9 December 2022
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 12:34

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