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A theoretical investigation on the sequence selective binding of mitoxantrone to double-stranded tetranucleotides.

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Abstract

Theoretical computations are performed on the comparative binding energetics of mitoxantrone (MX), a newly synthesized intercalating anthraquinone antitumor drug, to six representative double-stranded tetranucleotides: d(GCGC)2, d(CGCG)2, d(ATAT)2, d(TATA)2, d(GTGT), d(ACAC), and d(CCGG)2. The computations are performed with the SIBFA procedure, which uses empirical formulas based on ab initio SCF computations. The best binding configuration of mitoxantrone locates its two side chains in the major groove. A considerable preference is elicited for intercalation of the chromophore ring in a pyrimidine (3'-5') purine sequence rather than the isomeric purine (3'-5') pyrimidine sequence. Contrary to the situation encountered with "simple" intercalators, in which this preference is generally attributed solely to differences in the energies of unstacking necessary to generate the intercalation sites, the preference is dictated in MX to a large extent by the intermolecular interaction energy term. This result is imposed by the interactions of the side chains of MX with the oligonucleotide.

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