Secondary binding sites for heavily modified triplex forming oligonucleotides

A. S. Cardew, T. Brown and K. R. Fox. Nucleic Acids Res. 40 (8), 3753-3762, 2012.


In order to enhance DNA triple helix stability synthetic oligonucleotides have been developed that bear amino groups on the sugar or base. One of the most effective of these is bis-amino-U (B), which possesses 5-propargylamino and 2'-aminoethoxy modifications. Inclusion of this modified nucleotide not only greatly enhances triplex stability, but also increases the affinity for related sequences. We have used a restriction enzyme protection, selection and amplification assay (REPSA) to isolate sequences that are bound by the heavily modified 9-mer triplex-forming oligonucleotide B6CBT. The isolated sequences contain An tracts (n = 6), suggesting that the 5'-end of this TFO was responsible for successful triplex formation. DNase I footprinting with these sequences confirmed triple helix formation at these secondary targets and demonstrated no interaction with similar oligonucleotides containing T or 5-propargylamino-dU.