Effect of Chirality on the Elastic Properties of the DNA-Threading Binuclear Ruthenium Complex
Paper in proceedings, 2020
Transition metal-based small molecules have been promising candidates for cancer treatments. A certain type of these molecules falls into a category known as threading intercalators, that have a dumbbell shape with a flat intercalating section in between bulky side chains. In order to bind to DNA, they must thread one of their bulky side chains through the DNA base pairs. The ruthenium-based molecule, ΛΛ-[μ-bidppz(phen)4Ru2]4+ (ΛΛ-P for short), is a transition metal-based threading intercalator. We use optical tweezers to study the interactions of ΛΛ-P with DNA to compare it with the previously studied ΔΔ-P, a complex that has the same chemical components but an opposite chirality. In these studies, we use the optical tweezers to trap a single DNA molecule and stretch it in the presence of various concentrations of ΛΛ-P. The DNA stretches obtained at saturated concentrations of ΛΛ-P at various forces allows us to obtain the effective elastic properties of the DNA-ΛΛ-P complex. This allows us to compare these properties to the previously studied ΔΔ-P complex to determine whether chirality has an effect. This type of comparison may lead us towards a better understanding of the role chirality has towards DNA binding.