Preferential targeting cancer-related i-motif DNAs by the plant flavonol fisetin for theranostics applications
The relationship of i-motif DNAs with cancer has prompted the development of specific ligands to detect and regulate their formation. Some plant flavonols show unique fluorescence and anti-cancer properties, which suggest the utility of the theranostics approach to cancer therapy related to i-motif DNA. We investigated the effect of the plant flavonol, fisetin (Fis), on the physicochemical property of i-motif DNAs. Binding of Fis to the i-motif from the promoter region of the human vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene dramatically induced the excited state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) reaction that significantly enhanced the intensity of the tautomer emission band of Fis. This unique response was due to the coincidence of the structural change from i-motif to the hairpin-like structure which is stabilized via putative Watson-Crick base pairs between some guanines within the loop region of the i-motif and cytosines in the structure. As a result, the VEGF i-motif did not act as a replication block in the presence of Fis, which indicates the applicability of Fis for the regulation of gene expression of VEGF. The fluorescence and biological properties of Fis may be utilised for theranostics applications for cancers related to a specific cancer-related gene, such as VEGF.
Fluorescence, DNA structure, Ligand binding, Circular dichroism, Biochemistry