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Influence of Stereochemistry and Redox Potentials on the Single- and Double-Strand DNA Cleavage Efficiency of Cu(II)· and Ni(II)·Lys-Gly-His-Derived ATCUN Metallopeptides

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journal contribution
posted on 04.07.2007, 00:00 by Yan Jin, Mark A. Lewis, Nikhil H. Gokhale, Eric C. Long, J. A. Cowan
The DNA cleavage chemistry of a series of metallopeptides based on the amino-terminal Cu and Ni (ATCUN) binding motif of proteins has been studied. Specifically, the impact of the positioning of charged Lys side chains and their stereochemistry on metal reduction potentials and DNA cleavage reactivity have been quantitatively evaluated. Both Cu and Ni metallopeptides show a general increase in reactivity toward DNA with an increasing number of Lys residues, while a corresponding decrease in complex reduction potential reflects the enhanced σ-donor character of the Lys side chain relative to that of Gly. Placement of Lys at the first position in the tripeptide ligand sequence resulted in a greater increase in DNA cleavage reactivity, relative to placement at the second position, while a switch from an l-Lys to a d-Lys typically resulted in enhanced reactivity, as well as perturbations of reduction potential. In the case of Cu peptides, reactivity was enhanced with both increasing positive charge density on the peptide and stabilization of the Cu3+ state. However, for Ni peptides, while the general trends are the same, the correlation with redox behavior was less pronounced. Most likely these differences in specific trends for the Cu and Ni complexes reflect the distinct coordination preferences for Cu3+/2+ and Ni3+/2+ oxidation states, and the consequent distinct positioning of metal-associated reactive oxygen species, as well as the orientation of the DNA-associated complex. Thus, the amino acid composition and stereochemistry of ATCUN metallopeptides can tune the intrinsic reactivities of these systems (their ability to promote formation and activity of metal-associated ROS) as well as their overall structural features, and both of these aspects appear to influence their reactivity and efficiency of DNA strand scission.

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