Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In this study we have identified a new structural motif for a ligand with G-quadruplex interaction that results in biological effects associated with G-quadruplex-interactive compounds. Fluoroquinolones have been reported to possess weak telomerase inhibitory activity in addition to their better known bacterial gyrase poisoning. Starting with a fluoroquinobenzoxazine, which has modest potency in a human topoisomerase II assay, we have designed a more potent inhibitor of telomerase that has lost its topoisomerase II poisoning activity. This fluoroquinophenoxazine (FQP) interacts with G-quadruplex structures to inhibit the progression of Taq polymerase in a G-quadruplex polymerase stop assay. In addition, we demonstrate by 1H NMR studies that this compound interacts with telomeric G-quadruplex structures by external stacking to the G-tetrad with both the unimolecular fold-over and the parallel G-quadruplex structures. A photocleavage assay confirms the FQP interaction site, which is located off center of the external tetrad but within the loop region. Molecular modeling using simulated annealing was performed on the FQP-parallel G-quadruplex complex to determine the optimum FQP orientation and key molecular interactions with the telomeric G-quadruplex structure. On the basis of the results of these studies, two additional FQP analogues were synthesized, which were designed to test the importance of these key interactions. These analogues were evaluated in the Taq polymerase stop assay for G-quadruplex interaction. The data from this study and the biological evaluation of these three FQPs, using cytotoxicity and a sea urchin embryo system, were in accord with the predicted more potent telomeric G-quadruplex interactions of the initial lead compound and one of the analogues. On the basis of these structural and biological studies, the design of more potent and selective telomeric G-quadruplex-interactive compounds can be envisaged.


Journal article


Mol Cancer Ther

Publication Date





103 - 120


Animals, Antineoplastic Agents, Cell Division, Chromosomes, DNA, Neoplasm, Drug Design, Enzyme Inhibitors, Fluoroquinolones, Humans, Light, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Nucleic Acid Conformation, Sea Urchins, Substrate Specificity, Telomerase, Telomere, Topoisomerase II Inhibitors, Tumor Cells, Cultured