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Linked oligodeoxynucleotides show binding cooperativity and can selectively impair replication of deleted mitochondrial DNA templates

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Robert Taylor, Dr Theresa Wardell, Professor Bernard Connolly, Emeritus Professor Doug Turnbull, Professor Robert Lightowlers


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Mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cause a spectrum of human pathologies, which predominantly affect skeletal muscle and the central nervous system. In patients, mutated and wild-type mtDNAs often co-exist in the same cell (mtDNA heteroplasmy). In the absence of pharmacological therapy, a genetic strategy for treatment has been proposed whereby replication of mutated mtDNA is inhibited by selective hybridisation of a nucleic acid derivative to the single-stranded replication intermediate, allowing propagation of the wild-type genome and correction of the associated respiratory chain defect. Previous studies have shown the efficacy of this antigenomic approach in vitro, targeting pathogenic mtDNA templates with only a single point mutation. Pathogenic molecules harbouring deletions, however, present a more difficult problem. Deletions often occur at the site of two short repeat sequences (4-13 residues), only one of which is retained in the deleted molecule. With the more common larger repeats it is therefore difficult to design an antigenomic molecule that will bind selectively across the breakpoint of the deleted mtDNA. To address this problem, we have used linker-substituted oligodeoxynucleotides to bridge the repeated residues. We show that molecules can be designed to bind more tightly to the deleted as compared to the wild-type mtDNA template, consistent with the nucleotide sequence on either side of the linker co-operating to increase binding affinity. Furthermore, these bridging molecules are capable of sequence-dependent partial inhibition of replication in vitro.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wardell TM; Lightowlers RN; Taylor RW; Turnbull DM; Connolly BA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nucleic Acids Research

Year: 2001

Volume: 29

Issue: 16

Pages: 3404-3412

Print publication date: 15/08/2001

ISSN (print): 0305-1048

ISSN (electronic): 1362-4962

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/nar/29.16.3404

PubMed id: 11504878


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