4-Cyanoindole-2'-deoxyribonucleoside as a Dual Fluorescence and Infrared Probe of DNA Structure and Dynamics.


Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. [Email]


Unnatural nucleosides possessing unique spectroscopic properties that mimic natural nucleobases in both size and chemical structure are ideally suited for spectroscopic measurements of DNA/RNA structure and dynamics in a site-specific manner. However, such unnatural nucleosides are scarce, which prompts us to explore the utility of a recently found unnatural nucleoside, 4-cyanoindole-2'-deoxyribonucleoside (4CNI-NS), as a site-specific spectroscopic probe of DNA. A recent study revealed that 4CNI-NS is a universal nucleobase that maintains the high fluorescence quantum yield of 4-cyanoindole and that among the four natural nucleobases, only guanine can significantly quench its fluorescence. Herein, we further show that the C≡N stretching frequency of 4CNI-NS is sensitive to the local environment, making it a useful site-specific infrared probe of oligonucleotides. In addition, we demonstrate that the fluorescence-quencher pair formed by 4CNI-NS and guanine can be used to quantitatively assess the binding affinity of a single-stranded DNA to the protein system of interest via fluorescence spectroscopy, among other applications. We believe that this fluorescence binding assay is especially useful as its potentiality allows high-throughput screening of DNA⁻protein interactions.


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