Raphael M Franzini

ETH Zurich, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland

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Publications (19)138.96 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The potential of DNA-encoded combinatorial libraries (DECLs) as tools for hit discovery crucially relies on the availability of methods for their synthesis at acceptable purity and quality. Incomplete reactions in the presence of DNA can noticeably affect the purity of DECLs and methods to selectively remove unreacted oligonucleotide-based starting products would likely enhance the quality of DECL screening results. We describe an approach to selectively remove unreacted oligonucleotide starting products from reaction mixtures and demonstrate its applicability in the context of acylation of amino-modified DNA. Following an amide bond forming reaction, we treat unreacted amino-modified DNAs with biotinylating reagents and isolate the corresponding biotinylated oligonucleotides from the reaction mixture by affinity capture on streptavidin-coated sepharose. This approach, which yields the desired DNA-conjugate at enhanced purity, can be applied both to reactions performed in solution and to procedures in which DNA is immobilized on an anion exchange solid support.
    06/2015; 17(7). DOI:10.1021/acscombsci.5b00072
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    ABSTRACT: The repair of oxidative damage to DNA is essential to avoid mutations that lead to cancer. Oxidized DNA bases, such as 8-oxoguanine, are a main source of these mutations, and the enzyme 8-oxoguanine glycosylase 1 (OGG1) is the chief human enzyme that excises 8-oxoguanine from DNA. The activity of OGG1 has been linked to human inflammation responses and to cancer, and researchers are beginning to search for inhibitors of the enzyme. However, measuring the activity of the enzyme typically requires laborious gel-based measurements of radiolabeled DNAs. Here we report the design and properties of fluorogenic probes that directly report on the activity of OGG1 (and its bacterial homologue Fpg) in real time as the oxidized base is excised. The probes are short, modified DNA oligomers containing fluorescent DNA bases and are designed to utilize 8-oxoguanine itself as a fluorescence quencher. Screening of combinations of fluorophores and 8-oxoguanine revealed two fluorophores, pyrene and tCo, that are strongly quenched by the damaged base. We tested 42 potential probes containing these fluorophores: the optimum probe, OGR1, yields a 60-fold light-up signal in vitro with OGG1 and Fpg. It can report on oxidative repair activity in mammalian cell lysate and with bacterial cells overexpressing a repair enzyme. Such probes might prove useful in quantifying enzyme activity and performing competitive inhibition assays. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
    ChemBioChem 06/2015; DOI:10.1002/cbic.201500184 · 3.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the synthesis and screening of a DNA-encoded chemical library containing 76230 compounds. In this library, sets of amines and carboxylic acids are directly linked producing encoded compounds with compact structures and drug-like properties. Affinity screening of this library yielded inhibitors of the potential pharmaceutical target tankyrase 1, a poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. These compounds have drug-like characteristics, and the most potent hit compound (X066/Y469) inhibited tankyrase 1 with an IC50 value of 250 nM.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 06/2015; 58(12). DOI:10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b00432 · 5.48 Impact Factor
  • Raphael M Franzini · Angela Nauer · Jörg Scheuermann · Dario Neri
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    ABSTRACT: Parallel affinity screening of a DNA-encoded chemical library against rat, bovine and human serum albumin allowed the identification of small-molecule ligands with distinctive binding specificities to the individual proteins.
    Chemical Communications 03/2015; 51(38). DOI:10.1039/c5cc01230a · 6.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methods for the rapid and inexpensive discovery of hit compounds are essential for pharmaceutical research and DNA-encoded chemical libraries represent promising tools for this purpose. We here report on the design and synthesis of DAL-100K, a DNA-encoded chemical library containing 103 200 structurally compact compounds. Affinity screening experiments and DNA-sequencing analysis provided ligands with nanomolar affinities to several proteins, including prostate-specific membrane antigen and tankyrase 1. Correlations of sequence counts with binding affinities and potencies of enzyme inhibition were observed and enabled the identification of structural features critical for activity. These results indicate that libraries of this type represent a useful source of small-molecule binders for target proteins of pharmaceutical interest and information on structural features important for binding.
    Angewandte Chemie 02/2015; 127(13). DOI:10.1002/ange.201410736
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    ABSTRACT: In contrast to standard fragment-based drug discovery approaches, dual-display DNA-encoded chemical libraries have the potential to identify fragment pairs that bind simultaneously and benefit from the chelate effect. However, the technology has been limited by the difficulty in unambiguously decoding the ligand pairs from large combinatorial libraries. Here we report a strategy that overcomes this limitation and enables the efficient identification of ligand pairs that bind to a target protein. Small organic molecules were conjugated to the 5′ and 3′ ends of complementary DNA strands that contain a unique identifying code. DNA hybridization followed by an inter-strand code-transfer created a stable dual-display DNA-encoded chemical library of 111,100 members. Using this approach we report the discovery of a low micromolar binder to alpha-1-acid glycoprotein and the affinity maturation of a ligand to carbonic anhydrase IX, an established marker of renal cell carcinoma. The newly discovered subnanom
    Nature Chemistry 01/2015; 7(3):241. DOI:10.1038/nchem.2158 · 23.30 Impact Factor
  • Lik Hang Yuen · Raphael M Franzini · Samuel S Tan · Eric T Kool
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    ABSTRACT: An important advantage of pattern-based chemosensor sets is their potential to detect and differentiate a large number of analytes with only few sensors. Here we test this principle at a conceptual limit by analyzing a large set of metal ion analytes covering essentially the entire periodic table, employing fluorescent DNA-like chemosensors on solid support. A tetrameric "oligodeoxy-fluoroside" (ODF) library of 6,561 members containing metal-binding monomers was screened for strong responders to 57 metal ions in solution. Our results show that a set of nine chemosensors could successfully discriminate the 57 species, including alkali, alkaline earth, post-transition, transition and lanthanide metals. As few as six ODF chemosensors can detect and differentiate 50 metals at 100 µM, and a blind test with 50 metals further confirmed the discriminating power of the ODFs.
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 09/2014; 136(41). DOI:10.1021/ja507932a · 11.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DNA-encoded chemical libraries are collections of small molecules, attached to DNA fragments serving as identification barcodes, which can be screened against multiple protein targets, thus facilitating the drug discovery process. The preparation of large DNA-encoded chemical libraries crucially depends on the availability of robust synthetic methods, which enable the efficient conjugation to oligonucleotides of structurally diverse building blocks, sharing a common reactive group. Reactions of DNA derivatives with amines and/or carboxylic acids are particularly attractive for the synthesis of encoded libraries, in view of the very large number of building blocks that are commercially available. However, systematic studies on these reactions in the presence of DNA have not been reported so far. We first investigated conditions for the coupling of primary amines to oligonucleotides, using either a nucleophilic attack on chloroacetamide derivatives or a reductive amination on aldehyde-modified DNA. While both methods could be used for the production of secondary amines, the reductive amination approach was generally associated with higher yields and better purity. In a second endeavor, we optimized conditions for the coupling of a diverse set of 501 carboxylic acids to DNA derivatives, carrying primary and secondary amine functions. The coupling efficiency was generally higher for primary amines, compared to secondary amine substituents, but varied considerably depending on the structure of the acids and on the synthetic methods used. Optimal reaction conditions could be found for certain sets of compounds (with conversions >80%), but multiple reaction schemes are needed when assembling large libraries with highly diverse building blocks. The reactions and experimental conditions presented in this article should facilitate the synthesis of future DNA-encoded chemical libraries, while outlining the synthetic challenges that remain to be overcome.
    Bioconjugate Chemistry 07/2014; 25(8). DOI:10.1021/bc500212n · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Heavy metal contamination of water can be toxic to humans and wildlife; thus the development of methods to detect this contamination is of high importance. Here we describe the design and application of DNA-based fluorescent chemosensors on microbeads to differentiate eight toxic metal ions in water. We developed and synthesized four fluorescent 2′-deoxyribosides of metal-binding ligands. A tetramer-length oligodeoxy-fluoroside (ODF) library of 6561 members was constructed and screened for sequences responsive to metal ions, of which seven sequences were selected. Statistical analysis of the response patterns showed successful differentiation of the analytes at concentrations as low as 100 nM. Sensors were able to classify water samples from 13 varied sites and quantify metal contamination in unknown specimens. The results demonstrate the practical potential of bead-based ODF chemosensors to analyze heavy metal contamination in water samples by a simple and inexpensive optical method.
    Angewandte Chemie 05/2014; 126(21). DOI:10.1002/ange.201403235
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    ABSTRACT: Heavy metal contamination of water can be toxic to humans and wildlife; thus the development of methods to detect this contamination is of high importance. Here we describe the design and application of DNA-based fluorescent chemosensors on microbeads to differentiate eight toxic metal ions in water. We developed and synthesized four fluorescent 2′-deoxyribosides of metal-binding ligands. A tetramer-length oligodeoxy-fluoroside (ODF) library of 6561 members was constructed and screened for sequences responsive to metal ions, of which seven sequences were selected. Statistical analysis of the response patterns showed successful differentiation of the analytes at concentrations as low as 100 nM. Sensors were able to classify water samples from 13 varied sites and quantify metal contamination in unknown specimens. The results demonstrate the practical potential of bead-based ODF chemosensors to analyze heavy metal contamination in water samples by a simple and inexpensive optical method.
    Angewandte Chemie International Edition 05/2014; 53(21). DOI:10.1002/anie.201403235 · 11.26 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Raphael M Franzini · Dario Neri · Jörg Scheuermann
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    ABSTRACT: DNA-encoded chemical libraries (DECLs) represent a promising tool in drug discovery. DECL technology allows the synthesis and screening of chemical libraries of unprecedented size at moderate costs. In analogy to phage-display technology, where large antibody libraries are displayed on the surface of filamentous phage and are genetically encoded in the phage genome, DECLs feature the display of individual small organic chemical moieties on DNA fragments serving as amplifiable identification barcodes. The DNA-tag facilitates the synthesis and allows the simultaneous screening of very large sets of compounds (up to billions of molecules), because the hit compounds can easily be identified and quantified by PCR-amplification of the DNA-barcode followed by high-throughput DNA sequencing. Several approaches have been used to generate DECLs, differing both in the methods used for library encoding and for the combinatorial assembly of chemical moieties. For example, DECLs can be used for fragment-based drug discovery, displaying a single molecule on DNA or two chemical moieties at the extremities of complementary DNA strands.
    Accounts of Chemical Research 03/2014; 47(4). DOI:10.1021/ar400284t · 24.35 Impact Factor
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    Raphael M Franzini · Eric T Kool
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    ABSTRACT: Templated fluorescence activation has recently emerged as a promising molecular approach to detect and differentiate nucleic acid sequences in vitro and in cells. Here, we describe the application of a reductive quencher release strategy to the taxonomic analysis of Gram-negative bacteria by targeting a single nucleotide difference in their 16S rRNA in a two-color assay. For this purpose, it was necessary to develop a release linker containing a quencher suitable for red and near-infrared fluorophores, and to improve methods for the delivery of probes into cells. A cyanine-dye labeled oligonucleotide probe containing the new quencher-release linker showed unprecedentedly low background signal and high fluorescence turn-on ratios. The combination of a fluorescein-containing and a near-IR emitting probe discriminated E. coli from S. enterica despite nearly identical ribosomal target sequences. Two-color analysis by microscopy and the first successful discrimination of bacteria by two-color flow cytometry with templated reactive probes are described.
    Bioconjugate Chemistry 08/2011; 22(9):1869-77. DOI:10.1021/bc2003567 · 4.82 Impact Factor
  • Raphael M Franzini · Eric T Kool
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    ABSTRACT: We report a new strategy for template-mediated fluorogenic chemistry that results in enhanced performance for the fluorescence detection of nucleic acids. In this approach, two successive templated reactions are required to induce a fluorescence signal, rather than only one. These novel fluorescein-labeled oligonucleotide probes, termed 2-STAR (STAR = Staudinger-triggered α-azidoether release) probes, contain two quencher groups tethered by separate reductively cleavable linkers. When a 2-STAR quenched probe successively binds adjacent to two mono-triphenylphosphine-(TPP)-DNAs or one dual-TPP-DNA, the two quenchers are released, resulting in a fluorescence signal. Because of the requirement for two consecutive reactions, 2-STAR probes display an unprecedented level of sequence specificity for template-mediated probe designs. At the same time, background emission generated by off-template reactions or incomplete quenching is among the lowest of any fluorogenic reactive probes for the detection of DNA or RNA.
    Chemistry - A European Journal 02/2011; 17(7):2168-75. DOI:10.1002/chem.201002426 · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • Hao Li · Raphael M Franzini · Christopher Bruner · Eric T Kool
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the development of templated fluorogenic chemistry for detection of specific sequences of duplex DNA in solution. In this approach, two modified homopyrimidine oligodeoxynucleotide probes are designed to bind by triple-helix formation at adjacent positions on a specific purine-rich target sequence of duplex DNA. One fluorescein-labeled probe contains an α-azidoether linker to a fluorescence quencher; the second (trigger) probe carries a triarylphosphine group that is designed to reduce the azide and cleave the linker. The data showed that at pH 5.6 these probes yielded a strong fluorescence signal within minutes on addition to a complementary homopurine duplex DNA target. The signal increased by a factor of about 60, and was completely dependent on the presence of the target DNA. Replacement of cytosine in the probes with pseudoisocytosine allowed the templated chemistry to proceed readily at pH 7. Single nucleotide mismatches in the target oligonucleotide slowed the templated reaction considerably; this demonstrated high sequence selectivity. The use of templated fluorogenic chemistry for detection of duplex DNAs has not been previously reported and could allow detection of double-stranded DNA, at least for homopurine-homopyrimidine target sites, under native and nondenaturing conditions.
    ChemBioChem 10/2010; 11(15):2132-7. DOI:10.1002/cbic.201000329 · 3.06 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Raphael M Franzini · Eric T Kool
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    ABSTRACT: RNA-templated fluorescence activation is a nucleic acid detection strategy that offers the possibility of direct visual detection of genetic information in living cells. Here we describe a new reaction strategy for fluorescence activation in which a phosphine on one DNA probe reduces an azide group in a linker on a second probe, resulting in linker cleavage and release of a fluorescence quenching group. These "Q-STAR" probes are shown to yield a strong fluorescence turn-on signal in approximately 20 min, with very low background and substantial amplification by turnover on the template. A green/red pair of such probes allowed the discrimination of two bacterial species by a single nucleotide difference in their 16S rRNA. The beneficial properties of the reductive quencher release design make these probes promising candidates for widespread application in the detection of nucleic acids in vitro and in cells.
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 11/2009; 131(44):16021-3. DOI:10.1021/ja904138v · 11.44 Impact Factor
  • Raphael M Franzini · Eric T Kool
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    ABSTRACT: Templated nucleic acid detection is an emerging bioanalytical method that makes use of the target DNA or RNA strand to initiate a fluorogenic reaction. The Staudinger reduction holds particular promise for templated sensing of nucleic acids because the involved functional groups are highly chemoselective. Here, the azidomethoxy group, which can be removed under Staudinger conditions, is used to cage 7-hydroxycoumarin fluorophores. Reduction by phosphines and subsequent loss of the azidomethoxy substituent induce a significant bathochromic shift of the major absorbance band in the near UV region. When excited at the appropriate wavelength, this change in the absorbance spectrum translates into a substantial fluorescence turn-on signal. The described profluorophores are readily conjugated to amino-modified DNAs and are rapidly uncaged by a triphenylphosphine-DNA probe under the control of a DNA template. In addition, turnover of the probes on the target strand occurs and yields substantial signal amplification.
    ChemBioChem 12/2008; 9(18):2981-8. DOI:10.1002/cbic.200800507 · 3.06 Impact Factor
  • Raphael M Franzini · Eric T Kool
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    ABSTRACT: (Chemical Equation Presented) A nucleic acid detection scheme that employs DNA-mediated delivery of an organomercury activator to unmask a fluorophore is described. The approach relies on adjacent hybridization of two oligonucleotide conjugates containing organomercury and caged rhodamine functionalities. Postsynthetic conjugation of amino-modified DNAs enabled efficient preparation of these probes. Complementary DNA templates yielded fluorescence signals arising from metal-assisted rhodamine uncaging.
    Organic Letters 08/2008; 10(14):2935-8. DOI:10.1021/ol800878b · 6.32 Impact Factor
  • Wei He · Raphael M. Franzini · Catalina Achim
    Progress in Inorganic Chemistry, Volume 55, 04/2008: pages 545 - 612; , ISBN: 9780470144428
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    ABSTRACT: Substitution of natural nucleobases in PNA oligomers with ligands is a strategy for directing metal ion incorporation to specific locations within a PNA duplex. In this study, we have synthesized PNA oligomers that contain up to three adjacent bipyridine ligands and examined the interaction with Ni2+ and Cu2+ of these oligomers and of duplexes formed from them. Variable-temperature UV spectroscopy showed that duplexes containing one terminal pair of bipyridine ligands are more stable upon metal binding than their nonmodified counterparts. While binding of one metal ion to duplexes that contain two adjacent bipyridine pairs makes the duplexes more stable, additional metal ions lower the duplex stability, with electrostatic repulsions being, most likely, an important contributor to the destabilization. UV titrations showed that the presence of several bipyridine ligands in close proximity of each other in PNA oligomers exerts a chelate effect. A supramolecular chelate effect occurs when several bipyridines are brought next to each other by hybridization of PNA duplexes. EPR spectroscopy studies indicate that even when two Cu2+ ions coordinate to a PNA duplex in which two bipyridine pairs are next to each other, the two metal-ligand complexes that form in the duplex are far enough from each other that the dipolar coupling is very weak. EXAFS and XANES show that the Ni2+-bipyridine bond lengths are typical for [Ni(bipy)2]2+ and [Ni(bipy)3]2+ complexes.
    Inorganic Chemistry 12/2006; 45(24):9798-811. DOI:10.1021/ic0609610 · 4.79 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

250 Citations
138.96 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014–2015
    • ETH Zurich
      • Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2008–2015
    • Stanford University
      • Department of Chemistry
      Palo Alto, California, United States
  • 2006–2008
    • Carnegie Mellon University
      • Department of Chemistry
      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States