In vitro selection of oligonucleotides that bind double-stranded DNA in the presence of triplex-stabilizing agents

In vitro selection of oligonucleotides that bind double-stranded DNA in the presence of triplex-stabilizing agents - A SELEX approach has been developed in order to select oligonucleotides that bind double-stranded DNA in the presence of a triplex-stabilizing agent, and was applied to a target sequence containing an oligopurine–oligopyrimidine stretch. After only seven rounds of selection, the process led to the identification of oligonucleotides that were able to form triple helices within the antiparallel motif. Inspection of the selected sequences revealed that, contrary to GC base pair which were always recognized by guanines, recognition of AT base pair could be achieved by either adenine or thymine, depending on the sequence context. While thymines are strongly preferred for several positions, some others can accommodate the presence of adenines. These results contribute to set the rules for designing oligonucleotides that form stable triple helices in the presence of triplex-stabilizing agents at physiological pH. They set the basis for further experiments regarding extension of potential target sequences for triple-helix formation or recognition of ligand–DNA complexes.