DNA Sequence Specific Recognition by Building Block Hx Polyamides

Student Author(s)

Graham Carlson

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Moses Lee; Dr. Pravin Patil; Dr. Kimberly Brien

Document Type


Event Date



Analogs of the naturally occurring product distamycin bind DNA in stacked anti-parallel dimers with a high affinity and specificity towards their target sequences. Novel polyamides containing Hx moieties exhibit fluorescence, which allows these molecules to be tracked in cells. Hx behaves as two consecutive pyrrole units and is A/T sequence specific. In an effort to optimize the curvature of our compounds we have developed the “Building Block” model in which we have altered the location of the Hx moiety within the molecule to determine the order that produces the most ideal curvature. The present phase of the model involves placing the Hx moiety in the middle of the triamide preceded by a phenyl group and followed by either a pyrrole or imidazole unit. The focus of this research is directed toward the development of Hx polyamides designed to target specific DNA sequences found in the promoters of genes.

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