Focus on PNA Flexibility and RNA Binding using Molecular Dynamics and Metadynamics
Verona, Massimiliano D.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNAs) can efficiently target DNA or RNA acting as chemical tools for gene regulation. Their backbone modification and functionalization is often used to increase the affinity for a particular sequence improving selectivity. The understanding of the trading forces that lead the single strand PNA to bind the DNA or RNA sequence is preparatory for any further rational design, but a clear and unique description of this process is still not complete. In this paper we report further insights into this subject, by a computational investigation aiming at the characterization of the conformations of a single strand PNA and how these can be correlated to its capability in binding DNA/RNA. Employing Metadynamics we were able to better define conformational pre-organizations of the single strand PNA and γ-modified PNA otherwise unrevealed through classical molecular dynamics. Our simulations driven on backbone modified PNAs lead to the conclusion that this γ-functionalization affects the single strand preorganization and targeting properties to the DNA/RNA, in agreement with circular dichroism (CD) spectra obtained for this class of compounds. MD simulations on PNA:RNA dissociation and association mechanisms allowed to reveal the critical role of central bases and preorganization in the binding process Show more
Journal / seriesScientific Reports
Pages / Article No.
PublisherNature Publishing Group
SubjectComputational models; Cheminformatics
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