Copper insertion facilitates water-soluble porphyrin binding to rA.rU and rA.dT base pairs in duplex RNA and RNA.DNA hybrids.

PMID 12390034


The binding of the copper(II) complex of water-soluble meso-tetrakis(N-methylpyridinium-4-yl)porphyrin (TMPyP) to double-helical polynucleotides has been studied by optical absorption, circular dichroism (CD), and resonance Raman spectroscopic methods. The target polymers were RNA and RNA.DNA hybrids consisting of rA.rU, rI.rC, rA.dT, and rI.dC base pairs. Relative to the metal-free H(2)TMPyP [Uno, T., Hamasaki, K., Tanigawa, M., and Shimabayashi, S. (1997) Inorg. Chem. 36, 1676-1683], CuTMPyP binds to poly(rA).poly(dT) and poly(rA).poly(rU) with a greatly increased binding constant. The external self-stacking of the porphyrin on the surface of the polymers was evident from the strong conservative-type induced CD signals. The signal intensity correlated almost linearly with the number of stacking sites on the polymer except for poly(rA).poly(dT), which showed extraordinarily strong CD signals. Thus, the bound porphyrin may impose an ordered architecture on the polymer surface, the stacking being facilitated by the more planar nature of the CuTMPyP than the nonmetal counterpart. Resonance Raman spectra of the stacked CuTMPyP were indistinguishable from those of the intercalated one with positive delta(Cbeta-H) and negative delta(Cm-Py) bending shifts, and hence the stacked porphyrins are suggested to adopt a similar structure to that of intercalated ones. Porphyrin flattening by copper insertion opens a new avenue for medical applications of porphyrins, blocking biological events related to RNA and hybrids in malignant cells.

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