5 years ago

Hydrophilic and Cell-Penetrable Pyrrolidinyl Peptide Nucleic Acid via Post-synthetic Modification with Hydrophilic Side Chains

Hydrophilic and Cell-Penetrable Pyrrolidinyl Peptide Nucleic Acid via Post-synthetic Modification with Hydrophilic Side Chains
Porntip Pan-In, Tirayut Vilaivan, Tanapat Palaga, Chotima Vilaivan, Haruthai Pansuwan, Chaturong Suparpprom, Thanesuan Nuanyai, Supason Wanichwecharungruang, Boonsong Ditmangklo, Banphot Jiangchareon
Peptide nucleic acid (PNA) is a nucleic acid mimic in which the deoxyribose–phosphate was replaced by a peptide-like backbone. The absence of negative charge in the PNA backbone leads to several unique behaviors including a stronger binding and salt independency of the PNA–DNA duplex stability. However, PNA possesses poor aqueous solubility and cannot directly penetrate cell membranes. These are major obstacles that limit in vivo applications of PNA. In previous strategies, the PNA can be conjugated to macromolecular carriers or modified with positively charged side chains such as guanidinium groups to improve the aqueous solubility and cell permeability. In general, a preformed modified PNA monomer was required. In this study, a new approach for post-synthetic modification of PNA backbone with one or more hydrophilic groups was proposed. The PNA used in this study was the conformationally constrained pyrrolidinyl PNA with prolyl-2-aminocyclopentanecarboxylic acid dipeptide backbone (acpcPNA) that shows several advantages over the conventional PNA. The aldehyde modifiers carrying different linkers (alkylene and oligo(ethylene glycol)) and end groups (−OH, −NH2, and guanidinium) were synthesized and attached to the backbone of modified acpcPNA by reductive alkylation. The hybrids between the modified acpcPNAs and DNA exhibited comparable or superior thermal stability with base-pairing specificity similar to those of unmodified acpcPNA. Moreover, the modified apcPNAs also showed the improvement of aqueous solubility (10–20 folds compared to unmodified PNA) and readily penetrate cell membranes without requiring any special delivery agents. This study not only demonstrates the practicality of the proposed post-synthetic modification approach for PNA modification, which could be readily applied to other systems, but also opens up opportunities for using pyrrolidinyl PNA in various applications such as intracellular RNA sensing, specific gene detection, and antisense and antigene therapy.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.7b00308

DOI: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.7b00308

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