Flexibility and Preorganization of Fluorescent Nucleobase-Pyrene Conjugates Control DNA and RNA Recognition
Journal article, 2020
We synthesized a new amino acid-fluorescent nucleobase derivative (qAN1-AA) and from it two new fluorescent nucleobase-fluorophore (pyrene) conjugates, whereby only the analogue with the longer and more flexible linker (qAN1-pyr2) self-folded into intramolecularly stacked qAN1/pyrene conformation, yielding characteristic, 100 nm-red-shifted emission (lambda(max) = 500 nm). On the contrary, the shorter and more rigid linker resulted in non-stacked conformation (qAN1-pyr1), characterized by the emission of free pyrene at lambda(max) = 400 nm. Both fluorescent nucleobase-fluorophore (pyrene) conjugates strongly interacted with ds-DNA/RNA grooves with similar affinity but opposite fluorescence response (due to pre-organization), whereas the amino acid-fluorescent base derivative (qAN1-AA) was inactive. However, only intramolecularly self-folded qAN1-pyr2 showed strong fluorescence selectivity toward poly U (Watson-Crick complementary to qAN1 nucleobase) and poly A (reverse Hoogsteen complementary to qAN1 nucleobase), while an opposite emission change was observed for non-complementary poly G and poly C. Non-folded analogue (qAN1-pyr1) showed no ss-RNA selectivity, demonstrating the importance of nucleobase-fluorophore pre-organization.