Aminoglycosylation Can Enhance the G-Quadruplex Binding Activity of Epigallocatechin

Li Ping Bai, Hing Man Ho, Edmond Dik Lung MA, Hui Yang, Wai Chung Fu, Zhi Hong JIANG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


With the aim of enhancing G-quadruplex binding activity, two new glucosaminosides (16, 18) of penta-methylated epigallocatechin were synthesized by chemical glycosylation. Subsequent ESI-TOF-MS analysis demonstrated that these two glucosaminoside derivatives exhibit much stronger binding activity to human telomeric DNA and RNA G-quadruplexes than their parent structure (i.e., methylated EGC) (14) as well as natural epigallocatechin (EGC, 6). The DNA G-quadruplex binding activity of 16 and 18 is even more potent than strong G-quadruplex binder quercetin, which has a more planar structure. These two synthetic compounds also showed a higher binding strength to human telomeric RNA G-quadruplex than its DNA counterpart. Analysis of the structure-activity relationship revealed that the more basic compound, 16, has a higher binding capacity with DNA and RNA G-quadruplexes than its N-acetyl derivative, 18, suggesting the importance of the basicity of the aminoglycoside for G-quadruplex binding activity. Molecular docking simulation predicted that the aromatic ring of 16 π-stacks with the aromatic ring of guanine nucleotides, with the glucosamine moiety residing in the groove of G-quadruplex. This research indicates that glycosylation of natural products with aminosugar can significantly enhance their G-quadruplex binding activities, thus is an effective way to generate small molecules targeting G-quadruplexes in nucleic acids. In addition, this is the first report that green tea catechin can bind to nucleic acid G-quadruplex structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere53962
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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