Drugs and Probes for Nucleic Acids Secondary Structures

Marie-Paule Teulade-Fichou

Marie-Paule Teulade-Fichou Team Leader Tel:

Our group works on the design of compounds targeting non-B nucleic acid structures and certain kinases involved in cancer. The group has a broad expertise in bio-organic chemistry and optical spectroscopy with a strong background in supramolecular chemistry and molecular recognition. Our final aims are to open new perspectives in the discovery of anticancer drugs and mechanistic tools.

Context : Our current interest is focused on the design of new nucleic acid targeted compounds for anticancer research and for elucidating DNA-related molecular basis of cancer.
It is well recognized that DNA sequences containing repeats of heterocyclic bases are highly susceptible to aberrant replication and perturbation of other DNA-related processes such as recombination and transcription. These dysfunctions may lead ultimately to modifications of the genetic material) and may have a role in explaining mechanisms linked to cancer development or more largely be involved in pathogenic rearrangements genome-wide. Repeat-containing DNA domains are highly prone to form non-canonical secondary structures due to self-assembly of bases via various H-bonding modes (mismatched pairs, base-triplets or quartets). The generated structures (mismatched sites, hairpins, triplex, quadruplex) are known (for some) or suspected (for others) to be involved in genetic instability and in pathogenic dysfunctions.
Our team is interested in the recognition of these non-canonical structures locally formed in DNA by means of specifically designed small molecules (i.e. ligands) that will bind the target structure with high specificity. The primary objectives of this research are two-folded, firstly to provide structure probes usable in various in vitro and cellular models for exploring the polymorphism of DNA; secondly to provide functional probes reporting or acting on the target structure (fluorescent signalling, covalent crosslinking). Of note the design and synthesis of targeted fluorescent molecules compatible with cellular imaging represents a subtopic of our research tightly intertwined with the structure-targeting topic. The final objectives of this research are to create new chemical biology tools for studying and controlling the formation of the target structures as well as their processing by proteins. Ultimately we aim at the discovery of better targeted (regiospecific) DNA interactive agents that may become clinical drugs for anticancer chemotherapy.
Our specific approaches towards the identification of active scaffolds are based on rational design (shape complementarity- topology adaptation) and on screening methods. Thus we developed home-made assays amenable to high-throughput screening. These are combined with the use of state of the art optical spectroscopy (UV-Vis, fluorescence, circular dichroïsm) and biochemical methods (gel electrophoresis, pull down assay) for quantitative evaluation of NA-ligands interactions. We also intend to a deep understanding of non-covalent interactions at the atomic level by means of molecular modelling analyses.

Key publications

Year of publication 2021

Marc Lavigne, Olivier Helynck, Pascal Rigolet, Rofia Boudria-Souilah, Mireille Nowakowski, Bruno Baron, Sébastien Brülé, Sylviane Hoos, Bertrand Raynal, Lionel Guittat, Claire Beauvineau, Stéphane Petres, Anton Granzhan, Jean Guillon, Geneviève Pratviel, Marie-Paule Teulade-Fichou, Patrick England, Jean-Louis Mergny, Hélène Munier-Lehmann (2021 Jul 7)

SARS-CoV-2 Nsp3 unique domain SUD interacts with guanine quadruplexes and G4-ligands inhibit this interaction.

Nucleic Acids Research : 49 : 7695–7712 : DOI : 10.1093/nar/gkab571
Piguel S., Le Bescont J., Mouawad L., Boddaert T., Bombard S. (2021 Jun 29)

Photoactivatable small-molecule inhibitors for light-controlled TAM kinase activity

ChemPhotoChem : Accepted Author Manuscript : DOI : 10.1002/cptc.202100131
Samar Ali, Emilia Puig Lombardi, Deepanjan Ghosh, Tao Jia, Géraldine Vitry, Lina Saker, Joël Poupon, Marie-Paule Teulade-Fichou, Alain Nicolas, Arturo Londono-Vallejo, Sophie Bombard (2021 May 22)

Pt-ttpy, a G-quadruplex binding platinum complex, induces telomere dysfunction and G-rich regions DNA damage.

Metallomics : integrated biometal science : 13 : mfab029 : DOI : 10.1093/mtomcs/mfab029
Laura Fourmois, Florent Poyer, Aude Sourdon, Delphine Naud-Martin, Sounderya Nagarajan, Rahima Chennoufi, Eric Deprez, Marie-Paule Teulade-Fichou, Florence Mahuteau-Betzer (2021 May 19)

Modulation of cellular fate of vinyl triarylamines through structural fine tuning: to stay or not to stay in the mitochondria?

Chembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology : Accepted Article : DOI : 10.1002/cbic.202100168
Yu Luo, Anton Granzhan, Daniela Verga, Jean-Louis Mergny (2021 Apr 1)

FRET-MC: A fluorescence melting competition assay for studying G4 structures in vitro

Biopolymers : 112 : e23415 : DOI : 10.1002/bip.23415
Elisa Le Boiteux, Franck Court, Pierre-Olivier Guichet, Catherine Vaurs-Barrière, Isabelle Vaillant, Emmanuel Chautard, Pierre Verrelle, Bruno M Costa, Lucie Karayan-Tapon, Anne Fogli, Philippe Arnaud (2021 Mar 15)

Widespread overexpression from the four DNA hypermethylated HOX clusters in aggressive (IDHwt) glioma is associated with H3K27me3 depletion and alternative promoter usage.

Molecular oncology : Accepted article : DOI : 10.1002/1878-0261.12944
All publications