Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11459453
Bioconjug. Chem. 2001 Jul-Aug;12(4):501-9
Topoisomerase I is an ubiquitous DNA-cleaving enzyme and an important therapeutic target in cancer chemotherapy for camptothecins as well as for indolocarbazole antibiotics such as rebeccamycin. To achieve a sequence-specific cleavage of DNA by topoisomerase I, a triple helix-forming oligonucleotide was covalently linked to indolocarbazole-type topoisomerase I poisons. The three indolocarbazole-oligonucleotide conjugates investigated were able to direct topoisomerase I cleavage at a specific site based upon sequence recognition by triplex formation. The efficacy of topoisomerase I-mediated DNA cleavage depends markedly on the intrinsic potency of the drug. We show that DNA cleavage depends also upon the length of the linker arm between the triplex-forming oligonucleotide and the drug. Based on a known structure of the DNA-topoisomerase I complex, a molecular model of the oligonucleotide conjugates bound to the DNA-topoisomerase I complex was elaborated to facilitate the design of a potent topoisomerase I inhibitor-oligonucleotide conjugate with an optimized linker between the two moieties. The resulting oligonucleotide-indolocarbazole conjugate at 10 nM induced cleavage at the triple helix site 2-fold more efficiently than 5 microM of free indolocarbazole, while the other drug-sensitive sites were not cleaved. The rational design of drug-oligonucleotide conjugates carrying a DNA topoisomerase poison may be exploited to improve the efficacy and selectivity of chemotherapeutic cancer treatments by targeting specific genes and reducing drug toxicity.