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Fung S.K.,University of Hong Kong | Zou T.,University of Hong Kong | Zou T.,Shenzhen Institute of Research and Innovation Shenzhen | Cao B.,University of Hong Kong | And 7 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2016

The selective targeting of mismatched DNA overexpressed in cancer cells is an appealing strategy in designing cancer diagnosis and therapy protocols. Few luminescent probes that specifically detect intracellular mismatched DNA have been reported. Here we used Pt(II) complexes with luminescence sensitive to subtle changes in the local environment and report several Pt(II) complexes that selectively bind to and identify DNA mismatches. We evaluated the complexesa'DNA-binding characteristics by ultraviolet/visible absorption titration, isothermal titration calorimetry, nuclear magnetic resonance and quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations. These Pt(II) complexes show up to 15-fold higher emission intensities upon binding to mismatched DNA over matched DNA and can be utilized for both detecting DNA abasic sites and identifying cancer cells and human tissue samples with different levels of mismatch repair. Our work highlights the potential of luminescent Pt(II) complexes to differentiate between normal cells and cancer cells which generally possess more aberrant DNA structures.

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