Molecular modeling and biophysical analysis of the c-MYC NHE-III1 silencer element

Derek J. Cashman, Robert Buscaglia, Matthew W. Freyer, Jamie Dettler, Laurence H. Hurley, Edwin A. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


G-Quadruplex and i-Motif-forming sequences in the promoter regions of several oncogenes show promise as targets for the regulation of oncogenes. In this study, molecular models were created for the c-MYC NHE-III1 (nuclease hypersensitivity element III1) from two 39-base complementary sequences. The NHE modeled here consists of single folded conformers of the polypurine intramolecular G-Quadruplex and the polypyrimidine intramolecular i-Motif structures, flanked by short duplex DNA sequences. The G-Quadruplex was based on published NMR structural data for the c-MYC 1:2:1 loop isomer. The i-Motif structure is theoretical (with five cytosine-cytosine pairs), where the central intercalated cytosine core interactions are based on NMR structural data obtained for a tetramolecular [d(A2 C4)4] model i-Motif. The loop structures are in silico predictions of the c-MYC i-motif loops. The porphyrin meso-tetra(N-methyl-4-pyridyl)porphine (TMPyP4), as well as the ortho and meta analogs TMPyP2 and TMPyP3, were docked to six different locations in the complete c-MYC NHE. Comparisons are made for drug binding to the NHE and the isolated G-Quadruplex and i-Motif structures. NHE models both with and without bound cationic porphyrin were simulated for 100 ps using molecular dynamics techniques, and the non-bonded interaction energies between the DNA and porphyrins calculated for all of the docking interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-101
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Molecular Modeling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • G-quadruplex
  • Oncogenes
  • Silencer element
  • TMPyP4
  • c-MYC
  • i-Motif

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Organic Chemistry


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