The DNA-binding of the natural benzophenanthridine alkaloid chelerythrine (CHE) has been assessed by combining molecular modeling and optical absorption spectroscopy. Specifically, both double-helical (B-DNA) and G-quadruplex sequences—representative of different topologies and possessing biological relevance, such as telomeric or regulatory sequences—have been considered. An original multiscale protocol, making use of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) calculations, allowed us to compare the theoretical and experimental circular dichroism spectra of the different DNA topologies, readily providing atomic-level details of the CHE–DNA binding modes. The binding selectivity towards G-quadruplexes is confirmed by both experimental and theoretical determination of the binding free energies. Overall, our mixed computational and experimental approach is able to shed light on the interaction of small molecules with different DNA conformations. In particular, CHE may be seen as the building block of promising drug candidates specifically targeting G-quadruplexes for both antitumoral and antiviral purposes.
|Numero di pagine||15|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2019|
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