Three's a crowd – stabilisation, structure, and applications of DNA triplexes
DNA is a strikingly flexible molecule and can form a variety of secondary structures, including the triple helix, which is the subject of this review. The DNA triplex may be formed naturally, during homologous recombination, or can be formed by the introduction of a synthetic triplex forming oligonucleotide (TFO) to a DNA duplex. As the TFO will bind to the duplex with sequence specificity, there is significant interest in developing TFOs with potential therapeutic applications, including using TFOs as a delivery mechanism for compounds able to modify or damage DNA. However, to combine triplexes with functionalised compounds, a full understanding of triplex structure and chemical modification strategies, which may increase triplex stability or in vivo degradation, is essential – these areas will be discussed in this review. Ruthenium polypyridyl complexes, which are able to photooxidise DNA and act as luminescent DNA probes, may serve as a suitable photophysical payload for a TFO system and the developments in this area in the context of DNA triplexes will also be reviewed.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Most popular 2022 chemical biology articles and 2022 Chemical Science Perspective & Review Collection