Solution structure of a covalently bound pyrrolo[2,1-c][1,4]benzodiazepine - benzimidazole hybrid to a 10mer DNA duplex

Michael Rettig, Markus Weingarth, Walter Langel, Ahmed Kamal, P. Praveen Kumar, Klaus Weisz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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A pyrrolo[2,1-c][1,4]benzodiazepine-benzimidazole hybrid (PBD-BIMZ) derived from the tricyclic anticancer PBD antibiotics can covalently bind to a guanine base at its exocyclic 2-amino group in double-helical DNA. Through the formation of stable DNA adducts, these hybrids have previously been shown to have significant anticancer activity in a number of cell lines. Here, the three-dimensional solution structure of the complex formed between the self-complementary DNA decamer 5′-AACAATTGTT-3′ and PBD-BIMZ has been investigated by two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy and NOE distance restraint molecular dynamics simulations. Refinements using an explicit solvation model yielded a complex structure that is in good agreement with the NMR structural data. Successful convergence is indicated by an average mutual root-mean-square deviation of <1 Å for three final representative structures selected by clustering methods from the molecular dynamics trajectories at 300 K. The ligand binds in an (11S,11aS) configuration to one of the two symmetrically located guanine bases of the duplex and is oriented with its benzimidazole moiety toward the 5′-end of the modified guanine. It is accommodated within the minor groove covering the centrally located 6 bp. Conformational and helical parameters of the DNA adduct are typical of a B-like duplex, and more significant helical distortions by the covalent binding of PBD-BIMZ are mostly confined to the covalent binding site and the junction between complexed and noncomplexed DNA segments. In contrast to the overall well-determined conformation of the bound hybrid, its terminal N-methylpiperazine ring appears to adopt various conformations associated with increased flexibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12223-12232
Number of pages10
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 29 2009
Externally publishedYes


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