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Non-identical electronic characters of the internucleotidic phosphates in RNA modulate the chemical reactivity of the phosphodiester bonds
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Bioorganic Chemistry.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Bioorganic Chemistry.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Bioorganic Chemistry.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Bioorganic Chemistry.
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2006 (English)In: Organic and biomolecular chemistry, ISSN 1477-0520, E-ISSN 1477-0539, Vol. 4, no 5, 928-941 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We here show that the electronic properties and the chemical reactivities of the internucleotidic phosphates in the heptameric ssRNAs are dissimilar in a sequence-specific manner because of their non-identical microenvironments, in contrast with the corresponding isosequential ssDNAs. This has been evidenced by monitoring the delta H8(G) shifts upon pH-dependent ionization (pK(a1)) of the central 9-guaninyl (G) to the 9-guanylate ion (G(-)), and its electrostatic effect on each of the internucleotidic phosphate anions, as measured from the resultant delta P-31 shifts (pKa(2)) in the isosequential heptameric ssRNAs vis-`a-vis ssDNAs: [d/r( 5'-Cp(1)Ap(2)Q(1)p(3)Gp(4)Q(2)p(5)Ap(6)C-3'): Q(1) = Q(2) = A (5a/5b) or C (8a/8b), Q(1) = A, Q(2) = C (6a/6b), Q(1) = C, Q(2) = A (7a/7b)]. These oligos with single ionizable G in the centre are chosen because of the fact that the pseudoaromatic character of G can be easily modulated in a pH-dependent manner by its transformation to G(-) (the 2'-OH to 2-O- ionization effect is not detectable below pH 11.6 as evident from the N1-Me-G analog), thereby modulating/titrating the nature of the electrostatic interactions of G to G- with the phosphates, which therefore constitute simple models to interrogate how the variable pseudoaromatic characters of nucleobases under different sequence context (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2004, 126, 8674-8681) can actually influence the reactivity of the internucleotide phosphates as a result of modulation of sequence context-specific electrostatic interactions. In order to better understand the impact of the electrostatic effect of the G to G- on the tunability of the electronic character of internucleotidic phosphates in the heptameric ssRNAs 5b, 6b, 7b and 8b, we have also performed their alkaline hydrolysis at pH 12.5 at 20 degrees C, and have identified the preferences of the cleavage sites at various phosphates, which are p(2), p(3) and p(4) (Fig. 3). The results of these alkaline hydrolysis studies have been compared with the hydrolysis of analogous N1-Me-G heptameric ssRNA sequences 5c, 7c and 8c under identical conditions in order to establish the role of the electrostatic effect of the 9-guanylate ion (and the 2'-OH to 2-O- ionization) on the internucleotidic phosphate. It turned out that the relative alkaline hydrolysis rate at those particular phosphates ( p2, p3 and p(4)) in the N1-Me-G heptamers was reduced from 16-78% compared to those in the native counterparts [Fig. 4, and ESI 2 (Fig. S11)]. Thus, these physico-chemical studies have shown that those p2, p3 and p4 phosphates in the native heptameric RNAs, which show pK(a2) as well as more deshielding ( owing to weaker P-31 screening) in the alkaline pH compared to those at the neutral pH, are more prone to the alkaline hydrolysis because of their relatively enhanced electrophilic character resulting from weaker P-31 screening. This screening effect originates as a result of the systematic charge repulsion effect between the electron cloud in the outermost orbitals of phosphorus and the central guanylate ion, leading to delocalization of the phosphorus pp charge into its d pi orbitals. It is thus likely that, just as in the non-enzymatic hydrolysis, the enzymatic hydrolysis of a specific phosphate in RNA by general base-catalyss in RNA-cleaving proteins (RNase A, RNA phosphodiesterase or nuclease) can potentially be electrostatically influenced by tuning the transient charge on the nucleobase in the steric proximity or as a result of specific sequence context owing to nearest-neighbor interactions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 4, no 5, 928-941 p.
National Category
Organic Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96322DOI: 10.1039/B516733GISI: 000235992700023OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-96322DiVA: diva2:170859
Available from: 2007-10-18 Created: 2007-10-18 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Targeting RNA by the Antisense Approach and a Close Look at RNA Cleavage Reaction
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Targeting RNA by the Antisense Approach and a Close Look at RNA Cleavage Reaction
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis summarizes the results of studies on two aspects of nucleic acids. Chemically modified antisense oligonucleotides (AONs) have been evaluated with regards to their suitability for mRNA targeting in an antisense approach (Paper I – III). The chemically modified nucleotidic units 2'-O-Me-T, 2'-O-MOE-T, oxetane-T, LNA-T, azetidine-T, aza-ENA-T, carbocyclic-ENA-T and carbocyclic-LNA-T were incorporated into 15-mer AONs and targeted against a 15-mer RNA chosen from the coding region of SV-40 large T antigen. The comparative study showed that a single modified nucleotide in the AON with North-East locked sugar (oxetane-T and azetidine-T) lowered the affinity for the complementary RNA whereas North locked sugars (LNA-T, aza-ENA-T, carbocyclic-ENA-T, and carbocyclic-LNA-T) significantly improved the affinity. A comparative RNase H digestion study showed that modifications of the same type (North-East type or North type) in different sequences gave rise to similar cleavage patterns. Determination of the Michaelis-Menten parameters by kinetic experiments showed that the modified AONs recruit RNase H resulting in enhanced turnover numbers (kcat) although with weaker enzyme-substrate binding (1/Km) compared to the unmodified AON. The modified AONs were also evaluated with regards to resistance towards snake venom phosphodiesterase and human serum to estimate their stability toward exonucleases. The aza-ENA-T and carbocyclic-ENA-T modified AONs showed improved stability compared to all other modified AONs. In general, the modified AONs with North type nucleotides (except LNA-T) were found to be superior to the North-East type as they showed improved target affinity, comparable RNase H recruitment capability and improved exonuclease stability.

The second aspect studied in this thesis is based on physicochemical studies of short RNA molecules utilizing NMR based pH titration and alkaline hydrolysis reactions (Paper IV – V). The NMR based (1H and 31P) pH titration studies revealed the effect of guaninyl ion formation, propagated electrostatically through a single stranded chain in a sequence dependent manner. The non-identical electronic character of the internucleotidic phosphodiesters was further verified by alkaline hydrolysis experiments. The internucleotidic phosphodiesters, which were influenced by guaninyl ion formation, were hydrolyzed at a faster rate than those sequences where such guaninyl ion formation was prevented by replacing G with N1-Me-G.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2007. 58 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 355
Keyword
Organic chemistry, mRNA targeting, antisense oligonucleotides, target affinity, RNase H, Michaelis-Menten kinetics, exo-nuclease stability, NMR, pH titration, alkaline hydrolysis, Organisk kemi
National Category
Organic Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8272 (URN)978-91-554-6995-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-11-08, B22, BMC, Box 576, SE-75123, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-10-18 Created: 2007-10-18 Last updated: 2012-08-03Bibliographically approved

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