Scientific article

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

Published inEMBO journal, vol. 20, no. 12, p. 3218-3228
Publication date2001

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.

  • DNA minor groove
  • DNA sequence‐specific polyamides
  • Telomeres
  • TRF1
Citation (ISO format)
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. doi: 10.1093/emboj/20.12.3218
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0261-4189

Technical informations

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