Characterization of a triple helix-specific ligand. BePI (3-methoxy-7H-8-methyl-11- [(3'-amino)propylamino]-benzo[e]pyrido[4,3-b]indole) intercalates into both double-helical and triple-helical DNA.


A benzo[e]pyridoindole derivative, 3-methoxy-7H-8-methyl-11-[(3'-amino)propylamino] -benzo[e]pyrido[4,3-b]indole (BePI), and its interactions with double and triple-helical DNA have been investigated by a variety of fluorescence, spectrophotometric, hydrodynamic and molecular modeling techniques. Binding to DNA stabilizes the doubly charged (+2) form of BePI, increasing the apparent pKa of the 10-NH proton by approximately 1 pH unit. Binding to DNA also quenches the fluorescence of BePI, with a greater extent of quenching upon binding triplex relative to duplex DNA. BePI preferentially binds (and stabilizes) triple-helical relative to double-helical DNA. This preferential binding is not restricted to triplexes containing solely T x A.T base triplets. In addition, BePI preferentially stabilizes the poly(dA).poly(dT) relative to the poly[d(A-T)].poly[d(A-T)] duplex. Viscosity studies demonstrate that, upon binding, BePI induces the unwinding of negative supercoils in the pBR322 plasmid, and increases the relative contour lengths of double and triple-helical polydeoxynucleotides. Fluorescence studies reveal that energy transfer occurs from polynucleotide bases to bound BePI molecules in both BePI/duplex and BePI/triplex complexes. In a BePI/triplex complex, an average of 4.8 bases appear to transfer excitation energy totally to a bound BePI molecule, while in various BePI/duplex complexes an average of only 2.5 bases appear to do so, indicating that energy transfer is more efficient in the former complex. Measurements of fluorescence quenching indicate that BePI is protected from quenching by acrylamide when bound to either double or triple-helical polynucleotides. The viscosity and fluorescence behavior of BePI are fully consistent with the conclusion that BePI intercalates into both double and triple-helical DNA. Molecular modeling studies suggest that stronger stacking interactions between intercalated BePI and adjacent bases in BePI/triplex relative to BePI/duplex complexes may account for the enhanced thermal stability of the former complex.

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@article{Pilch1993CharacterizationOA, title={Characterization of a triple helix-specific ligand. BePI (3-methoxy-7H-8-methyl-11- [(3'-amino)propylamino]-benzo[e]pyrido[4,3-b]indole) intercalates into both double-helical and triple-helical DNA.}, author={D S Pilch and M J Waring and J S Sun and M Roug{\'e}e and C H Nguyen and E Bisagni and T Garestier and C H{\'e}l{\`e}ne}, journal={Journal of molecular biology}, year={1993}, volume={232 3}, pages={926-46} }