Molecular methods for assessment of non-covalent metallodrug–DNA interactions

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In this tutorial review we provide an accessible account of molecular methods to probe inorganic-nucleic acid interactions. Techniques are described using copper(II) and platinum(II) complexes prepared in our laboratory at DCU and that of Prof N.P Farrell at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Our artwork features in the recently published issue!

Key learning points include:

  • Essentials of nucleic acid structure.

  • Principles of nucleic acid–metallodrug recognition.

  • Application of mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography to probe selective metallodrug–DNA binding sites.

  • Quantification of metallodrug–DNA interactions using high-throughput optical techniques based on fluorescence and absorbance spectroscopy.

  • Electrophoretic techniques and the use of on-chip microfluidic assays to identify drug–DNA damage.