Benjamin Chun-Yeung Li

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The entire genome of the bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae M129 has been sequenced. It has a size of 816,394 base pairs with an average G+C content of 40.0 mol%. We predict 677 open reading frames (ORFs) and 39 genes coding for various RNA species. Of the predicted ORFs, 75.9% showed significant similarity to genes/proteins of other organisms while only 9.9%(More)
Current knowledge of hepatitis B virus (HBV) sequence heterogeneity is based mainly on sequencing of amplified subgenomic HBV fragments. Here, we describe a method which allows sensitive amplification and simplified functional analysis of full-length HBV genomes with or without prior cloning. By this method, a large number of HBV genomes were cloned from(More)
Many cancer therapeutics target DNA and exert cytotoxicity through the induction of DNA damage and inhibition of transcription. We report that a DNA minor groove binding hairpin pyrrole-imidazole (Py-Im) polyamide interferes with RNA polymerase II (RNAP2) activity in cell culture. Polyamide treatment activates p53 signaling in LNCaP prostate cancer cells(More)
Pyrrole–imidazole (Py-Im) polyamides are programmable, sequence-specific DNA minor groove–binding ligands. Previous work in cell culture has shown that various polyamides can be used to modulate the transcriptional programs of oncogenic transcription factors. In this study, two hairpin polyamides with demonstrated activity against androgen receptor(More)
Pyrrole-imidazole (Py-Im) polyamides are a class of programmable DNA minor groove binders capable of modulating the activity of DNA-binding proteins and affecting changes in gene expression. Estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) is a ligand-activated hormone receptor that binds as a homodimer to estrogen response elements (ERE) and is a driving oncogene in a(More)
Pyrrole-imidazole polyamides targeted to the androgen response element were cytotoxic in multiple cell lines, independent of intact androgen receptor signaling. Polyamide treatment induced accumulation of S-phase cells and of PCNA replication/repair foci. Activation of a cell cycle checkpoint response was evidenced by autophosphorylation of ATR, the S-phase(More)
A hairpin pyrrole-imidazole polyamide (1) targeted to the androgen receptor consensus half-site was found to exert antitumor effects against prostate cancer xenografts. A previous animal study showed that 1, which has a chiral amine at the α-position of the γ-aminobutyric acid turn (γ-turn), did not exhibit toxicity at doses less than 10 mg/kg. In the same(More)
The porphyrin chromophore incorporated at the 5'-position of an oligonucleotide allows the simultaneous detection of the B- to Z-DNA transition via the porphyrin Soret band circular dichroism exciton couplet signal around 420 nm and the oligonucleotide CD region below 300 nm, at micromolar concentrations.
RNA polymerase II (pol II) encounters numerous barriers during transcription elongation, including DNA strand breaks, DNA lesions, and nucleosomes. Pyrrole-imidazole (Py-Im) polyamides bind to the minor groove of DNA with programmable sequence specificity and high affinity. Previous studies suggest that Py-Im polyamides can prevent transcription factor(More)
In the presence of an endonuclease that digests double-stranded DNA, DNA polymerase efficiently synthesizes and amplifies DNA from dNTPs in the absence of any added template and primer nucleic acid. This cut-polymerization DNA synthesis (Cut-grow) can be carried out under a wide range of temperature (4-85 degrees C) by many endonucleases and DNA(More)