Seminar by Dr. Dennis Bong of OSU
Abstract: We have identified a triazine heterocycle, melamine, that is an efficient recognition module for thymine and uracil nucleobases. Macromolecular presentation of triazines can structure single-stranded thymine-rich DNA sequences into peptide-DNA hairpin triplex structures via designed melamine-thymine nucleobase recognition. Melamine-displaying α-peptides were synthesized with the general form (EM*)n where M* denotes a lysine residue sidechain derivatized with melamine, a bifacial hydrogen bond complement for thymine. We have found that (EM*)n peptides, which we term bifacial peptide nucleic acid (bPNA), function as a noncovalent template for thymine-rich DNA tracts and uracil-rich RNA. Synthetic bPNA structuring elements may be used in a tunable fashion to direct nucleic acid folding, function and accessibility and could also serve to package nucleobase drugs for delivery. We describe herein how bPNA has been applied as a tool to inhibit DNA and RNA transactions as well as to turn on the function of non-coding nucleic acids.