Next-generation sequencing studies guide the design of pyrrole-imidazole polyamides with improved binding specificity by the addition of β-alanine.
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The identification of binding sites for small molecules in genomic DNA is important in various applications. Previously, we demonstrated rapid transcriptional activation by our small molecule SAHA-PIP. However, it was not clear whether the strong biological effects exerted by SAHA-PIP were attributable to its binding specificity. Here, we used high-throughput sequencing (Bind-n-seq) to determine the binding specificity of SAHA-PIPs. Sequence specificity bias was determined for SAHA-PIPs (3 and 4), and this showed enhanced 6 bp sequence-specific binding compared with hairpin PIPs (1 and 2). This finding allowed us to investigate the role of the β-alanine that links SAHA to PIP, and led in turn to the design of ββ-PIPs (5 and 6), which showed enhanced binding specificity. Overall, we demonstrated the importance of β-moieties for the binding specificity of PIPs and the use of cost-effective high-throughput screening of these small molecules for binding to the DNA minor groove.
ChemBioChem 15(18), 2647-2651, 2014-11-04