(1/509) Versatile derivatisation of solid support media for covalent bonding on DNA-microchips.

A chemistry was developed that permits on DNA-arrays both the covalent immobilisation of pre-fabricated nucleic acids-such as oligonucleotides, PCR-products or peptide nucleic acid oligomers-and the in situ synthesis of such compounds on either glass or polypropylene surfaces. Bonding was found to be stable even after some 30 cycles of stripping. Due to a dendrimeric structure of the linker molecule, the loading can be modified in a controlled manner and increased beyond the capacity of glass without negative effects on hybridisation efficiency. Also, the chemistry warrants the modulation of other surface properties such as charge or hydrophobicity. Preferentially, attachment of nucleic acids takes place only via the terminal amino-group of amino-modified oligonucleotides or the terminal hydroxyl-group of unmodified molecules so that the entire molecule is accessible to probe hybridisation. This derivatisation represents a support chemistry versatile enough to serve nearly all current forms of DNA-arrays or microchips.  (+info)

(2/509) Peptide nucleic acids targeted to the neurotensin receptor and administered i.p. cross the blood-brain barrier and specifically reduce gene expression.

Intraperitoneal injection of an unmodified antisense peptide nucleic acid (PNA) complementary to mRNA of the rat neurotensin (NT) receptor (NTR1) was demonstrated by a gel shift assay to be present in brain, thus indicating that the PNA had in fact crossed the blood-brain barrier. An i.p. injection of this antisense PNA specifically inhibited the hypothermic and antinociceptive activities of NT microinjected into brain. These results were associated with a reduction in binding sites for NT both in brain and the small intestine. Additionally, the sense-NTR1 PNA, targeted to DNA, microinjected directly into the brain specifically reduced mRNA levels by 50% and caused a loss of response to NT. To demonstrate the specificity of changes in behavioral, binding, and mRNA studies, animals treated with NTR1 PNA were tested for behavioral responses to morphine and their mu receptor levels were determined. Both were found to be unaffected in these NTR1 PNA-treated animals. The effects of both the antisense and sense PNAs were completely reversible. This work provides evidence that any antisense strategy targeted to brain proteins can work through i. p. delivery by crossing the normal blood-brain barrier. Equally important was that an antigene strategy, the sense PNA, was shown in vivo to be a potentially effective therapeutic treatment.  (+info)

(3/509) Modified peptide nucleic acids are internalized in mouse macrophages RAW 264.7 and inhibit inducible nitric oxide synthase.

Overexpression of inducible nitric oxide synthase causes the production of high levels of nitric oxide, which, under pathological conditions, leads to immunosuppression and tissue damage. The results recently obtained using peptide nucleic acids, rather than traditional oligonucleotides as antigen and antisense molecules, prompted us to test their efficacy in the regulation of nitric oxide production, thereby overcoming the obstacle of cellular internalization. The cellular permeability of four inducible nitric oxide synthase antisense peptide nucleic acids of different lengths was evaluated. These peptide nucleic acids were covalently linked to a hydrophobic peptide moiety to increase internalization and to a tyrosine to allow selective 125I radiolabelling. Internalization experiments showed a 3-25-fold increase in the membrane permeability of the modified peptide nucleic acids with respect to controls. Inducible nitric oxide synthase inhibition experiments on intact stimulated macrophages RAW 264.7 after passive permeation of the two antisense peptide nucleic acids 3 and 4 demonstrated a significant decrease (43-44%) in protein enzymatic activity with respect to the controls. These data offer a basis for developing a good alternative to conventional drugs directed against inducible nitric oxide synthase overexpression.  (+info)

(4/509) Peptide nucleic acid (PNA) binding-mediated induction of human gamma-globin gene expression.

Peptide nucleic acids (PNAs) can bind to homopurine/homopyrimidine sequences of double-stranded DNA targets in a sequence-specific manner and form [PNA]2/DNA triplexes with single-stranded DNA D-loop structures at the PNA binding sites. These D-loop structures have been found to have a capacity to initiate transcription in vitro. If this strategy can be used to induce transcription of endogenous genes, it may provide a novel approach for gene therapy of many human diseases. Human [beta] globin disorders such as sickle cell anemia and beta-thalassemia are very common genetic diseases that are caused by mutations in the beta-globin gene. When gamma-globin genes are highly expressed in sickle cell patients, the presence of high levels of fetal hemoglobin (HbF, alpha2gamma2) can compensate for the defective beta-globin gene product and such patients have much improved symptoms or are free of disease. However, the gamma-globin genes are developmentally regulated and normally expressed at very low levels (>1%) in adult blood cells. We have investigated the possibility of inducing gamma-globin gene expression with PNAs. Using PNAs designed to bind to the 5' flanking region of the gamma-globin gene, induction of expression of a reporter gene construct was demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo. More importantly, PNA-mediated induction of endogenous gamma-globin gene expression was also demonstrated in K562 human erythroleukemia cells. This result suggests that induction of gamma-globin gene expression with PNAs might provide a new approach for the treatment of sickle cell disease. PNA-induced gene expression strategy also may have implications in gene therapy of other diseases such as genetic diseases, cancer and infectious diseases.  (+info)

(5/509) Cellular delivery of peptide nucleic acids and inhibition of human telomerase.

BACKGROUND: Human telomerase has an essential RNA component and is an ideal target for developing rules correlating oligonucleotide chemistry with disruption of biological function. Similarly, peptide nucleic acids (PNAs), DNA analogs that bind complementary sequences with high affinity, are outstanding candidates for inducing phenotypic changes through hybridization. RESULTS: We identify PNAs directed to nontemplate regions of the telomerase RNA that can overcome RNA secondary structure and inhibit telomerase by intercepting the RNA component prior to holoenzyme assembly. Relative potencies of inhibition delineate putative structural domains. We describe a novel protocol for introducing PNAs into eukaryotic cells and report efficient inhibition of cellular telomerase by PNAs. CONCLUSIONS: PNAs directed to nontemplate regions are a new class of telomerase inhibitor and may contribute to the development of novel antiproliferative agents. The dependence of inhibition by nontemplate-directed PNAs on target sequence suggests that PNAs have great potential for mapping nucleic acid structure and predictably regulating biological processes. Our simple method for introducing PNAs into cells will not only be useful for probing the complex biology surrounding telomere length maintenance but can be broadly applied for controlling gene expression and functional genomics.  (+info)

(6/509) Helical periodicity of (PNA)2.(DNA) triplexes in strand displacement complexes.

To study the helical structure in a P-loop formed by an invasion of oligopyrimidine peptide nucleic acid (PNA) into DNA duplex, bent DNA fragments containing a homopurine.homopyrimidine sequence between two bent DNA loci were prepared. As the spacer DNA length between the two bent loci varied by 1 bp over one helical turn, the electrophoretic mobility, reflecting the overall extent of DNA bending, was modulated sinusoidally in non-denaturing 5% polyacrylamide gel. When the bent DNA fragments differing in the spacer DNA length were preincubated with an oligopyrimidine PNA, the gel mobilities were changed due to a P-loop formation. By analyzing the gel mobility data with variations of the P-loop size, average helical parameters at the P-loop structure were determined. (PNA)2. (DNA) triplex within a P-loop had the helical periodicities of 15. 6(0.2) bp per turn at 20 degrees C and 17.4(0.7) bp per turn at 10 degrees C. In addition, the results indicate that a helical unwinding by 57(7) degrees at 20 degrees C and 37(13) degrees at 10 degrees C is present at the two junctions between a P-loop and its adjacent DNA duplex.  (+info)

(7/509) Nuclear import of plasmid DNA in digitonin-permeabilized cells requires both cytoplasmic factors and specific DNA sequences.

Although much is known about the mechanisms of signal-mediated protein and RNA nuclear import and export, little is understood concerning the nuclear import of plasmid DNA. Plasmids between 4.2 and 14.4 kilobases were specifically labeled using a fluorescein-conjugated peptide nucleic acid clamp. The resulting substrates were capable of gene expression and nuclear localization in microinjected cells in the absence of cell division. To elucidate the requirements for plasmid nuclear import, a digitonin-permeabilized cell system was adapted to follow the nuclear localization of plasmids. Nuclear import of labeled plasmid was time- and energy-dependent, was inhibited by the lectin wheat germ agglutinin, and showed an absolute requirement for cytoplasmic extract. Addition of nuclear extract alone did not support plasmid nuclear import but in combination with cytoplasm stimulated plasmid nuclear localization. Whereas addition of purified importin alpha, importin beta, and RAN was sufficient to support protein nuclear import, plasmid nuclear import also required the addition of nuclear extract. Finally, nuclear import of plasmid DNA was sequence-specific, requiring a region of the SV40 early promoter and enhancer. Taken together, these results confirm and extend our findings in microinjected cells and support a protein-mediated mechanism for plasmid nuclear import.  (+info)

(8/509) Fluorescence In situ hybridization assay using peptide nucleic acid probes for differentiation between tuberculous and nontuberculous mycobacterium species in smears of mycobacterium cultures.

TB PNA FISH is a new fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) method using peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probes for differentiation between species of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) in acid-fast bacillus-positive (AFB+) cultures is described. The test is based on fluorescein-labelled PNA probes that target the rRNA of MTC or NTM species applied to smears of AFB+ cultures for microscopic examination. Parallel testing with the two probes serves as an internal control for each sample such that a valid test result is based on one positive and one negative reaction. TB PNA FISH was evaluated with 30 AFB+ cultures from Denmark and 42 AFB+ cultures from Thailand. The MTC-specific PNA probe showed diagnostic sensitivities of 84 and 97%, respectively, and a diagnostic specificity of 100% in both studies, whereas the NTM-specific PNA probe showed diagnostic sensitivities of 91 and 64%, respectively, and a diagnostic specificity of 100% in both studies. The low sensitivity of the NTM-specific PNA probe in the Thai study was due to a relatively high prevalence of Mycobacterium fortuitum, which is not identified by the probe. In total, 63 (87%) of the cultures were correctly identified as MTC (n = 46) or NTM (n = 17), whereas the remaining 9 were negative with both probes and thus the results were inconclusive. None of the samples were incorrectly identified as MTC or NTM; thus, the predictive value of a valid test result obtained with TB PNA FISH was 100%.  (+info)