BINDING OF DAPI ANALOG 2,5-BIS(4-AMIDINOPHENYL)FURAN TO DNA
Journal article, 1993
The binding of 2,5-bis(4-amidinophenyl)furan (APF) to calf thymus DNA, [poly(dA-dT)]2, and [poly(dG-dC)]2 has been studied with flow linear dichroism and circular dichroism spectroscopy. The electronic excited states of the APF chromophore were first characterized using experimental and quantum mechanical methods: it is shown that the low-energy absorption band (320-400 nm) originates from only a single electronic transition which is polarized along the long axis of the molecule, information that is crucial for the structural interpretation of the linear and circular dichroism spectra of the APF-DNA complexes. By contrast, in the unsymmetric analogue 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) two overlapping transitions, with somewhat divergent polarizations, both contribute to the first absorption band. Upon binding to DNA the spectroscopic behavior of APF strongly resembles that of DAPI. The linear dichroism data show that the drug binds to calf thymus DNA and [poly(dA-dT)]2 with an angle of 46-degrees +/- 2-degrees between its symmetry long axis and the DNA helix axis, confirming that APF, just like DAPI, is an AT-specific minor-groove binder. Upon binding to [poly(dG-dC)]2, however, the orientation of the long axis is parallel with the plane of the DNA bases, a geometry which excludes binding parallel to the grooves but could be consistent with intercalation. However, a short axis polarized transition is strongly inclined to the base plane and, furthermore, the persistence length of the polynucleotide is markedly reduced, observations that contradict classical intercalation. The circular dichroism spectrum in the low-energy absorption band of APF, upon binding to [poly(dA-dT)]2, displays a 'two mode' behavior similar to that of DAPI, which in DAPI has been ascribed to selective activation of either of its two transitions depending on the DNA conformation. However, in contrast to DAPI, this behavior in APF originates from a single electronic transition only. A plausible explanation of the second ''mode'', which could apply to the DAPI case as well, is that it is a result of long-range exciton interaction between drug chromophores in the minor groove.