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  • 1.
    Berner, Andreas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Das, Rabindra Nath
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Bhuma, Naresh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Golebiewska, Justyna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Abrahamsson, Alva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Andréasson, Måns
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Chaudhari, Namrata
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Doimo, Mara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Bose, Partha Pratim
    Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Neo, Huddinge, Sweden.
    Chand, Karam
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Strömberg, Roger
    Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Neo, Huddinge, Sweden.
    Wanrooij, Sjoerd
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Chorell, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    G4-ligand-conjugated oligonucleotides mediate selective binding and stabilization of individual G4 DNA structures2023In: Journal of the American Chemical Society, ISSN 0002-7863, E-ISSN 1520-5126, Vol. 146, no 10, p. 6926-6935Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    G-quadruplex (G4) DNA structures are prevalent secondary DNA structures implicated in fundamental cellular functions, such as replication and transcription. Furthermore, G4 structures are directly correlated to human diseases such as cancer and have been highlighted as promising therapeutic targets for their ability to regulate disease-causing genes, e.g., oncogenes. Small molecules that bind and stabilize these structures are thus valuable from a therapeutic perspective and helpful in studying the biological functions of the G4 structures. However, there are hundreds of thousands of G4 DNA motifs in the human genome, and a long-standing problem in the field is how to achieve specificity among these different G4 structures. Here, we developed a strategy to selectively target an individual G4 DNA structure. The strategy is based on a ligand that binds and stabilizes G4s without selectivity, conjugated to a guide oligonucleotide, that specifically directs the G4-Ligand-conjugated oligo (GL-O) to the single target G4 structure. By employing various biophysical and biochemical techniques, we show that the developed method enables the targeting of a unique, specific G4 structure without impacting other off-target G4 formations. Considering the vast amount of G4s in the human genome, this represents a promising strategy to study the presence and functions of individual G4s but may also hold potential as a future therapeutic modality.

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  • 2.
    Bhuma, Naresh
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Chand, Karam
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Uppsala University, BMC, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Andréasson, Måns
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Mason, James E.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University (WCMM).
    Das, Rabindra Nath
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Department of Chemistry, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Kattankulathur, Tamil Nadu, India.
    Patel, Ankit Kumat
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University (WCMM).
    Öhlund, Daniel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University (WCMM). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology.
    Chorell, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    The effect of side chain variations on quinazoline-pyrimidine G-quadruplex DNA ligands2023In: European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, ISSN 0223-5234, E-ISSN 1768-3254, Vol. 248, article id 115103Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    G-quadruplex (G4) DNA structures are involved in central biological processes such as DNA replication and transcription. These DNA structures are enriched in promotor regions of oncogenes and are thus promising as novel gene silencing therapeutic targets that can be used to regulate expression of oncoproteins and in particular those that has proven hard to drug with conventional strategies. G4 DNA structures in general have a well-defined and hydrophobic binding area that also is very flat and featureless and there are ample examples of G4 ligands but their further progression towards drug development is limited. In this study, we use synthetic organic chemistry to equip a drug-like and low molecular weight central fragment with different side chains and evaluate how this affect the compound's selectivity and ability to bind and stabilize G4 DNA. Furthermore, we study the binding interactions of the compounds and connect the experimental observations with the compound's structural conformations and electrostatic potentials to understand the basis for the observed improvements. Finally, we evaluate the top candidates' ability to selectively reduce cancer cell growth in a 3D co-culture model of pancreatic cancer which show that this is a powerful approach to generate highly active and selective low molecular weight G4 ligands with a promising therapeutic window.

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  • 3.
    Das, Rabindra Nath
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Andréasson, Måns
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Kumar, Rajendra
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Chorell, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Macrocyclization of bis-indole quinolines for selective stabilization of G-quadruplex DNA structures2020In: Chemical Science, ISSN 2041-6520, E-ISSN 2041-6539, Vol. 11, no 38, p. 10529-10537Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The recognition of G-quadruplex (G4) DNA structures as important regulatory elements in biological mechanisms, and the connection between G4s and the evolvement of different diseases, has sparked interest in developing small organic molecules targeting G4s. However, such compounds often lack drug-like properties and selectivity. Here, we describe the design and synthesis of a novel class of macrocyclic bis-indole quinolines based on their non-macrocyclic lead compounds. The effects of the macrocyclization on the ability to interact with G4 DNA structures were investigated using biophysical assays and molecular dynamic simulations. Overall, this revealed compounds with potent abilities to interact with and stabilize G4 structures and a clear selectivity for both G4 DNA over dsDNA and for parallel/hybrid G4 topologies, which could be attributed to the macrocyclic structure. Moreover, we obtained knowledge about the structure-activity relationship of importance for the macrocyclic design and how structural modifications could be made to construct improved macrocyclic compounds. Thus, the macrocyclization of G4 ligands can serve as a basis for the optimization of research tools to study G4 biology and potential therapeutics targeting G4-related diseases.

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  • 4.
    Das, Rabindra Nath
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Berner, Andreas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Bhuma, Naresh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Golebiewska, Justyna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Abrahamsson, Alva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Andréasson, Måns
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Chaudhari, Namrata
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Doimo, Mara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Wanrooij, Sjoerd
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Chorell, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Development of a G4 Ligand-Conjugated Oligonucleotide Modality that Selectively Targets Individual G4 DNA StructuresManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Deiana, Marco
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Chand, Karam
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Jamroskovic, Jan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Das, Rabindra Nath
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Obi, Ikenna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Chorell, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Sabouri, Nasim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    A Site-Specific Self-Assembled Light-up Rotor Probe for Selective Recognition and Stabilization of c-MYC G-Quadruplex DNA2020In: Nanoscale, ISSN 2040-3364, E-ISSN 2040-3372, Vol. 12, no 24, p. 12950-12957Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Direct and unambiguous evidence of the formation of G-quadruplexes (G4s) in human cells have shown their implication in several key biological events and has emphasized their role as important targets for small-molecule cancer therapeutics. Here, we report on the first example of a self-assembled multitasking molecular-rotor G4-binder able to discriminate between an extensive panel of G4 and non-G4 structures and to selectively light-up (up to 105-fold), bind (nanomolar range), and stabilize the c-MYC promoter G4 DNA. In particular, association with the c-MYC G4 triggers the disassembly of its supramolecular state (disaggregation-induced emission, DIE) and induces geometrical restrictions (motion-induced change in emission, MICE) leading to a significant enhancement of its emission yield. Moreover, this optical reporter is able to selectively stabilize the c-MYC G4 and inhibit DNA synthesis. Finally, by using confocal laser-scanning microscopy (CLSM) we show the ability of this compound to localize primarily in the subnuclear G4-rich compartments of cancer cells. This work provides a benchmark for the future design and development of a new generation of smart sequence-selective supramolecular G4-binders that combine outstanding sensing and stability properties, to be utilized in anti-cancer therapy.

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  • 6.
    Doimo, Mara
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics. Department of Women and Children Health, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.
    Chaudhari, Namrata
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Abrahamsson, Sanna
    Bioinformatics and Data Centre, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    L'Hôte, Valentin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Nguyen, Tran V. H.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Berner, Andreas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Ndi, Mama
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Abrahamsson, Alva
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Das, Rabindra Nath
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Aasumets, Koit
    Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland.
    Goffart, Steffi
    Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland.
    Pohjoismäki, Jaakko L. O.
    Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland.
    López, Marcela Dávila
    Bioinformatics and Data Centre, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Chorell, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Wanrooij, Sjoerd
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Enhanced mitochondrial G-quadruplex formation impedes replication fork progression leading to mtDNA loss in human cells2023In: Nucleic Acids Research, ISSN 0305-1048, E-ISSN 1362-4962, Vol. 51, no 14, p. 7392-7408Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication stalling is considered an initial step in the formation of mtDNA deletions that associate with genetic inherited disorders and aging. However, the molecular details of how stalled replication forks lead to mtDNA deletions accumulation are still unclear. Mitochondrial DNA deletion breakpoints preferentially occur at sequence motifs predicted to form G-quadruplexes (G4s), four-stranded nucleic acid structures that can fold in guanine-rich regions. Whether mtDNA G4s form in vivo and their potential implication for mtDNA instability is still under debate. In here, we developed new tools to map G4s in the mtDNA of living cells. We engineered a G4-binding protein targeted to the mitochondrial matrix of a human cell line and established the mtG4-ChIP method, enabling the determination of mtDNA G4s under different cellular conditions. Our results are indicative of transient mtDNA G4 formation in human cells. We demonstrate that mtDNA-specific replication stalling increases formation of G4s, particularly in the major arc. Moreover, elevated levels of G4 block the progression of the mtDNA replication fork and cause mtDNA loss. We conclude that stalling of the mtDNA replisome enhances mtDNA G4 occurrence, and that G4s not resolved in a timely manner can have a negative impact on mtDNA integrity.

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  • 7.
    Jamroskovic, Jan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Doimo, Mara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Chand, Karam
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Obi, Ikenna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Kumar, Rajendra
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Brännström, Kristoffer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Hedenström, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Das, Rabindra Nath
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Akhunzianov, Almaz
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics. Institute of Fundamental Medicine and Biology, Kazan Federal University, Kazan 420008, Russia.
    Deiana, Marco
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Kasho, Kazutoshi
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Sulis Sato, Sebastian
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Pourbozorgi-Langroudi, Parham
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Mason, James E.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology.
    Medini, Paolo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB).
    Öhlund, Daniel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology.
    Wanrooij, Sjoerd
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Chorell, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Sabouri, Nasim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Quinazoline Ligands Induce Cancer Cell Death through Selective STAT3 Inhibition and G-Quadruplex Stabilization2020In: Journal of the American Chemical Society, ISSN 0002-7863, E-ISSN 1520-5126, Vol. 142, no 6, p. 2876-2888Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) protein is a master regulator of most key hallmarks and enablers of cancer, including cell proliferation and the response to DNA damage. G-Quadruplex (G4) structures are four-stranded noncanonical DNA structures enriched at telomeres and oncogenes' promoters. In cancer cells, stabilization of G4 DNAs leads to replication stress and DNA damage accumulation and is therefore considered a promising target for oncotherapy. Here, we designed and synthesized novel quinazoline-based compounds that simultaneously and selectively affect these two well-recognized cancer targets, G4 DNA structures and the STAT3 protein. Using a combination of in vitro assays, NMR, and molecular dynamics simulations, we show that these small, uncharged compounds not only bind to the STAT3 protein but also stabilize G4 structures. In human cultured cells, the compounds inhibit phosphorylation-dependent activation of STAT3 without affecting the antiapoptotic factor STAT1 and cause increased formation of G4 structures, as revealed by the use of a G4 DNA-specific antibody. As a result, treated cells show slower DNA replication, DNA damage checkpoint activation, and an increased apoptotic rate. Importantly, cancer cells are more sensitive to these molecules compared to noncancerous cell lines. This is the first report of a promising class of compounds that not only targets the DNA damage cancer response machinery but also simultaneously inhibits the STAT3-induced cancer cell proliferation, demonstrating a novel approach in cancer therapy.

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  • 8.
    Kumar, Rajendra
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Chand, Karam
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Bhowmik, Sudipta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Department of Biophysics, Molecular Biology & Bioinformatics, University of Calcutta, 92, APC Road, Kolkata 700009, India.
    Das, Rabindra Nath
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Bhattacharjee, Snehasish
    Hedenström, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Chorell, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Subtle structural alterations in G-quadruplex DNA regulate site specificity of fluorescence light-up probes2020In: Nucleic Acids Research, ISSN 0305-1048, E-ISSN 1362-4962, Vol. 48, no 3, p. 1108-1119Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    G-quadruplex (G4) DNA structures are linked to key biological processes and human diseases. Small molecules that target specific G4 DNA structures and signal their presence would therefore be of great value as chemical research tools with potential to further advance towards diagnostic and therapeutic developments. However, the development of these types of specific compounds remain as a great challenge. In here, we have developed a compound with ability to specifically signal a certain c-MYC G4 DNA structure through a fluorescence light-up mechanism. Despite the compound's two binding sites on the G4 DNA structure, only one of them result in the fluorescence light-up effect. This G-tetrad selectivity proved to originate from a difference in flexibility that affected the binding affinity and tilt the compound out of the planar conformation required for the fluorescence light-up mechanism. The intertwined relation between the presented factors is likely the reason for the lack of examples using rational design to develop compounds with turn-on emission that specifically target certain G4 DNA structures. However, this study shows that it is indeed possible to develop such compounds and present insights into the molecular details of specific G4 DNA recognition and signaling to advance future studies of G4 biology.

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  • 9.
    Prasad, Bagineni
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Das, Rabindra Nath
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Jamroskovic, Jan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Kumar, Rajendra
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Hedenström, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Sabouri, Nasim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Chorell, Erik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    The Relation Between Position and Chemical Composition of Bis-Indole Substituents Determines Their Interactions With G-Quadruplex DNA2020In: Chemistry - A European Journal, ISSN 0947-6539, E-ISSN 1521-3765, Vol. 26, no 43, p. 9561-9572Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    G‐quadruplex (G4) DNA structures are linked to fundamental biological processes and human diseases, which has triggered the development of compounds that affect these DNA structures. However, more knowledge is needed about how small molecules interact with G4 DNA structures. This study describes the development of a new class of bis‐indoles (3,3‐diindolyl‐methyl derivatives) and detailed studies of how they interact with G4 DNA using orthogonal assays, biophysical techniques, and computational studies. This revealed compounds that strongly bind and stabilize G4 DNA structures, and detailed binding interactions which e.g. show that charge variance can play a key role in G4 DNA binding. Furthermore, the structure‐activity relationships generated opened the possibilities to replace or introduce new substituents on the core structure, which is of key importance to optimize compound properties or introduce probes to further expand the possibilities of these compounds as tailored research tools to study G4 biology.

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