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Specific targeting of insect and vertebrate telomeres with pyrrole and imidazole polyamides

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Published in EMBO Journal. 2001, vol. 20, no. 12, p. 3218-3228
Abstract DNA minor groove‐binding compounds (polyamides) that target insect and vertebrate telomeric repeats with high specificity were synthesized. Base pair recognition of these polyamides is based on the presence of the heterocyclic amino acids pyrrole and imidazole. One compound (TH52B) interacts uniquely and with excellent specificity (Kd = 0.12 nM) with two consecutive insect‐type telomeric repeats (TTAGG). A related compound, TH59, displays high specificity (Kd = 0.5 nM) for tandem vertebrate (TTAGGG) and insect telomeric repeats. The high affinity and specificity of these compounds were achieved by bidentate binding of two flexibly linked DNA‐binding moieties. Epifluorescence microscopy studies show that fluorescent derivatives of TH52B and TH59 stain insect or vertebrate telomeres of chromosomes and nuclei sharply. Importantly, the telomere‐specific polyamide signals of HeLa chromosomes co‐localize with the immunofluorescence signals of the telomere‐binding protein TRF1. Our results demonstrate that telomere‐specific compounds allow rapid estimation of relative telomere length. The insect‐specific compound TH52 was shown to be incorporated rapidly into growing Sf9 cells, underlining the potential of these compounds for telomere biology and possibly human medicine.
Keywords DNA minor grooveDNA sequence‐specific polyamidesTelomeresTRF1
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MAESHIMA, Kazuhiro, JANSSEN, Samuel Théodoor, LAEMMLI, Ulrich Karl. Specific targeting of insect and vertebrate telomeres with pyrrole and imidazole polyamides. In: EMBO Journal, 2001, vol. 20, n° 12, p. 3218-3228. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:82635

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Deposited on : 2016-04-12

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