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Circular DNA and DNA/RNA Hybrid Molecules as Scaffolds for Ricin Inhibitor Design

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journal contribution
posted on 02.05.2007, 00:00 by Matthew B. Sturm, Setu Roday, Vern L. Schramm
Ricin Toxin A-chain (RTA) catalyzes the hydrolytic depurination of A4324, the first adenosine of the GAGA tetra-loop portion of 28S eukaryotic ribosomal RNA. Truncated stem-loop versions of the 28S rRNA are RTA substrates. Here, we investigate circular DNA and DNA/RNA hybrid GAGA sequence oligonucleotides as minimal substrates and inhibitor scaffolds for RTA catalysis. Closing the 5‘- and 3‘-ends of a d(GAGA) tetraloop creates a substrate with 92-fold more activity with RTA (kcat/Km) than that for the d(GAGA) linear form. Circular substrates have catalytic rates (kcat) comparable to and exceeding those of RNA and DNA stem-loop substrates, respectively. RTA inhibition into the nanomolar range has been achieved by introducing an N-benzyl-hydroxypyrrolidine (N-Bn) transition state analogue at the RTA depurination site in a circular GAGA motif. The RNA/DNA hybrid oligonucleotide cyclic GdAGA provides a new scaffold for RTA inhibitor design, and cyclic G(N-Bn)GA is the smallest tight-binding RTA inhibitor (Ki = 70 nM). The design of such molecules that lack the base-paired stem-loop architecture opens new chemical synthetic approaches to RTA inhibition.