• (A) Photoregulation of DNA Functions by Cyclic Azobenzene-tethered Oligonucleotides (B) Site-specific Fluorescent Labeling of DNA using Inverse Electron Demand Diels-Alder Reaction between trans-Cyclooctene Derivatives and BODIPY-Tetrazine Adducts

      Eljabu, Fatma Mohamed; Department of Chemistry
      (A) Most azobenzene-based photoswitches require UV light for photoisomerization, which limit their applications in biological systems due to possible photodamage. Cyclic azobenzene derivatives, on the other hand, can undergo cis-trans isomerization when exposed to visible light. A shortened synthetic scheme was developed for the preparation of a building block containing cyclic azobenzene and D-threoninol (cAB-Thr). trans-Cyclic azobenzene was found to thermally isomerize back to the cis-form in a temperature-dependent manner. cAB-Thr was transformed into the corresponding phosphoramidite and subsequently incorporated into oligonucleotides by solid phase synthesis. Melting temperature measurement suggested that incorporation of cis-cAB into oligonucleotides destabilizes DNA duplexes, these findings corroborate with circular dichroism measurement. Finally, Fluorescent Energy Resonance Transfer experiments indicated that trans-cAB can be accommodated in DNA duplexes. (B) Inverse Electron Demand Diels-Alder reactions (IEDDA) between trans-olefins and tetrazines provide a powerful alternative to existing ligation chemistries due to its fast reaction rate, bioorthogonality and mutual orthogonality with other click reactions. In this project, an attempt was pursued to synthesize trans-cyclooctene building blocks for oligonucleotide labeling by reacting with BODIPY-tetrazine. Rel-(1R-4E-pR)-cyclooct-4-enol and rel-(1R,8S,9S,4E)-Bicyclo[6.1.0]non-4-ene-9-ylmethanol were synthesized and then transformed into the corresponding propargyl ether. Subsequent Sonogashira reactions between these propargylated compounds with DMT-protected 5-iododeoxyuridine failed to give the desired products. Finally a methodology was pursued for the synthesis of BODIPY-tetrazine conjugates that will be used in future IEDDA reactions with trans-cyclooctene modified oligonucleotides.