Multiassay Profiling of a Focused Small Molecule Library Reveals Predictive Bidirectional Modulation of the lncRNA MALAT1 Triplex Stability In Vitro .

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The rapidly accelerating characterization of RNA tertiary structures has revealed their pervasiveness and active roles in human diseases. Small molecule-mediated modulation of RNA tertiary structures constitutes an attractive avenue for the development of tools for therapeutically targeting and/or uncovering the pathways associated with these RNA motifs. This potential has been highlighted by targeting of the triple helix present at the 3'-end of the noncoding RNA MALAT1, a transcript implicated in several human diseases. This triplex has been reported to decrease the susceptibility of the transcript to degradation and promote its cellular accumulation. While small molecules have been shown to bind to and impact the stability of the MALAT1 triple helix, the small molecule properties that lead to these structural modulations are not well understood. We designed a library utilizing the diminazene scaffold, which is underexplored but precedented for nucleic acid binding, to target the MALAT1 triple helix. We employed multiple assays to holistically assess what parameters, if any, could predict the small molecule affinity and effect on triplex stability. We designed and/or optimized competition, calorimetry, and thermal shift assays as well as an enzymatic degradation assay, the latter of which led to the discovery of bidirectional modulators of triple helix stability within the scaffold-centric library. Determination of quantitative structure-activity relationships afforded predictive models for both affinity- and stability-based assays. This work establishes a suite of powerful orthogonal biophysical tools for the evaluation of small molecule:RNA triplex interactions that generate predictive models and will allow small molecule interrogation of the growing body of disease-associated RNA triple helices.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Zafferani, M; Martyr, JG; Muralidharan, D; Montalvan, NI; Cai, Z; Hargrove, AE

Published Date

  • September 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 17 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 2437 - 2447

PubMed ID

  • 35984959

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1554-8937

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1554-8929

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/acschembio.2c00124


  • eng