Multivalency in the recognition and antagonism of a HIV TAR RNA–TAT assembly using an aminoglycoside benzimidazole scaffold†
Recognition of RNA by high-affinity binding small molecules is crucial for expanding existing approaches in RNA recognition, and for the development of novel RNA binding drugs. A novel neomycin dimer benzimidazole conjugate 5 (DPA 83) was synthesized by conjugating a neomycin-dimer with a benzimidazole alkyne using click chemistry to target multiple binding sites on HIV TAR RNA. Ligand 5 significantly enhances the thermal stability of HIV TAR RNA and interacts stoichiometrically with HIV TAR RNA with a low nanomolar affinity. 5 displayed enhanced binding compared to its individual building blocks including the neomycin dimer azide and benzimidazole alkyne. In essence, a high affinity multivalent ligand was designed and synthesized to target HIV TAR RNA.