In mammalian cells, telomerase transcribes telomeres in large G-rich non-coding RNA, known as telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA), which folds into noncanonical nucleic acid secondary structures called G-quadruplexes (G4s). Since TERRA G4 has been shown to be involved in telomere length and translation regulation, it could provide valuable insight into fundamental biological processes, such as cancer growth, and TERRA G4 binders could represent an innovative strategy for cancer treatment. In this work, the three best candidates identified in our previous virtual screening campaign on bimolecular DNA/RNA G4s were investigated on the monomolecular Tel DNA and TERRA G4s by means of molecular modelling simulations and in vitro and in cell analysis. The results obtained in this work highlighted the stabilizing power of all the three candidates on TERRA G4. In particular, the two compounds characterized by a chromene scaffold were selective TERRA G4 binders, while the compound with a naphthyridine core acted as a dual Tel/TERRA G4-binder. A biophysical investigation by circular dichroism confirmed the relative stabilization efficiency of the compounds towards TERRA and Tel G4s. The TERRA G4 stabilizing hits showed good antiproliferative activity against colorectal and lung adenocarcinoma cell lines. Lead optimization to increase TERRA G4 stabilization may provide new powerful tools against cancer.

Chromene Derivatives as Selective TERRA G-Quadruplex RNA Binders with Antiproliferative Properties

Rocca, Roberta;Scionti, Francesca;Moraca, Federica;Maruca, Annalisa;Costa, Giosuè;Catalano, Raffaella;Juli, Giada;Martino, Maria Teresa Di;Ortuso, Francesco;Alcaro, Stefano;Tagliaferri, Pierosandro;Tassone, Pierfrancesco;Artese, Anna
2022-01-01

Abstract

In mammalian cells, telomerase transcribes telomeres in large G-rich non-coding RNA, known as telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA), which folds into noncanonical nucleic acid secondary structures called G-quadruplexes (G4s). Since TERRA G4 has been shown to be involved in telomere length and translation regulation, it could provide valuable insight into fundamental biological processes, such as cancer growth, and TERRA G4 binders could represent an innovative strategy for cancer treatment. In this work, the three best candidates identified in our previous virtual screening campaign on bimolecular DNA/RNA G4s were investigated on the monomolecular Tel DNA and TERRA G4s by means of molecular modelling simulations and in vitro and in cell analysis. The results obtained in this work highlighted the stabilizing power of all the three candidates on TERRA G4. In particular, the two compounds characterized by a chromene scaffold were selective TERRA G4 binders, while the compound with a naphthyridine core acted as a dual Tel/TERRA G4-binder. A biophysical investigation by circular dichroism confirmed the relative stabilization efficiency of the compounds towards TERRA and Tel G4s. The TERRA G4 stabilizing hits showed good antiproliferative activity against colorectal and lung adenocarcinoma cell lines. Lead optimization to increase TERRA G4 stabilization may provide new powerful tools against cancer.
2022
G-quadruplex DNA; TERRA; docking; circular dichroism; mass spectrometry; biological assays
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12317/77285
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 8
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 8
social impact