Hx, A New DNA Sequence Recognition Moiety: Design, Synthesis, and DNA Binding Investigations

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Kimberly Brien, Hope College
Dr. Vijay Satam, Hope College
Dr. Moses Lee, Hope College

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Even though pyrrole (P)- and imidazole (I)- containing polyamides have been shown to bind AT-rich sequence via the minor groove of DNA with high affinity and specificity, the ability to track the movement of these molecules in cells or in an animal has been a challenge. The solution to these hurdles is the introduction of the p-anisylbenzimidazole-carboxamido (Hx) moiety, producing a molecule that not only fluoresces under ultraviolet light (322 nm) but also contributes to binding affinity and sequence specificity. The Hx structure demonstrates sequence specificity similar to that of two adjacent pyrrole unit or P-P. The Hx-containing polyamides showed increased binding affinity relative to N-terminal P-P-polyamides. In order to push the absorbance of Hx-polyamide to longer wavelength highly conjugated fluorophores are being engineered into the Hx moiety. Results from these studies will be presented.

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