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Coordination Chemistry of Nucleotides and Antivirally Active Acyclic Nucleoside Phosphonates, including Mechanistic Considerations


Sigel, Astrid; Sigel, Helmut; Sigel, Roland K O (2022). Coordination Chemistry of Nucleotides and Antivirally Active Acyclic Nucleoside Phosphonates, including Mechanistic Considerations. Molecules, 27(9):2625.

Abstract

Considering that practically all reactions that involve nucleotides also involve metal ions, it is evident that the coordination chemistry of nucleotides and their derivatives is an essential corner stone of biological inorganic chemistry. Nucleotides are either directly or indirectly involved in all processes occurring in Nature. It is therefore no surprise that the constituents of nucleotides have been chemically altered—that is, at the nucleobase residue, the sugar moiety, and also at the phosphate group, often with the aim of discovering medically useful compounds. Among such derivatives are acyclic nucleoside phosphonates (ANPs), where the sugar moiety has been replaced by an aliphatic chain (often also containing an ether oxygen atom) and the phosphate group has been replaced by a phosphonate carrying a carbon–phosphorus bond to make the compounds less hydrolysis-sensitive. Several of these ANPs show antiviral activity, and some of them are nowadays used as drugs. The antiviral activity results from the incorporation of the ANPs into the growing nucleic acid chain—i.e., polymerases accept the ANPs as substrates, leading to chain termination because of the missing 3′-hydroxyl group. We have tried in this review to describe the coordination chemistry (mainly) of the adenine nucleotides AMP and ATP and whenever possible to compare it with that of the dianion of 9-[2-(phosphonomethoxy)ethyl]adenine (PMEA2− = adenine(N9)-CH2-CH2-O-CH2-PO32) [or its diphosphate (PMEApp4−)] as a representative of the ANPs. Why is PMEApp4− a better substrate for polymerases than ATP4−? There are three reasons: (i) PMEA2− with its anti-like conformation (like AMP2−) fits well into the active site of the enzyme. (ii) The phosphonate group has an enhanced metal ion affinity because of its increased basicity. (iii) The ether oxygen forms a 5-membered chelate with the neighboring phosphonate and favors thus coordination at the Pα group. Research on ANPs containing a purine residue revealed that the kind and position of the substituent at C2 or C6 has a significant influence on the biological activity. For example, the shift of the (C6)NH2 group in PMEA to the C2 position leads to 9-[2-(phosphonomethoxy)ethyl]-2-aminopurine (PME2AP), an isomer with only a moderate antiviral activity. Removal of (C6)NH2 favors N7 coordination, e.g., of Cu2+, whereas the ether O atom binding of Cu2+ in PMEA facilitates N3 coordination via adjacent 5- and 7-membered chelates, giving rise to a Cu(PMEA)cl/O/N3 isomer. If the metal ions (M2+) are M(α,β)-M(γ)-coordinated at a triphosphate chain, transphosphorylation occurs (kinases, etc.), whereas metal ion binding in a M(α)-M(β,γ)-type fashion is relevant for polymerases. It may be noted that with diphosphorylated PMEA, (PMEApp4−), the M(α)-M(β,γ) binding is favored because of the formation of the 5-membered chelate involving the ether O atom (see above). The self-association tendency of purines leads to the formation of dimeric [M2(ATP)]2(OH)− stacks, which occur in low concentration and where one half of the molecule undergoes the dephosphorylation reaction and the other half stabilizes the structure—i.e., acts as the “enzyme” by bridging the two ATPs. In accord herewith, one may enhance the reaction rate by adding AMP2− to the [Cu2(ATP)]2(OH)− solution, as this leads to the formation of mixed stacked Cu3(ATP)(AMP)(OH)− species, in which AMP2− takes over the structuring role, while the other “half” of the molecule undergoes dephosphorylation. It may be added that Cu3(ATP)(PMEA) or better Cu3(ATP)(PMEA)(OH)− is even a more reactive species than Cu3(ATP)(AMP)(OH)−. – The matrix-assisted self-association and its significance for cell organelles with high ATP concentrations is summarized and discussed, as is, e.g., the effect of tryptophanate (Trp−), which leads to the formation of intramolecular stacks in M(ATP)(Trp)3− complexes (formation degree about 75%). Furthermore, it is well-known that in the active-site cavities of enzymes the dielectric constant, compared with bulk water, is reduced; therefore, we have summarized and discussed the effect of a change in solvent polarity on the stability and structure of binary and ternary complexes: Opposite effects on charged O sites and neutral N sites are observed, and this leads to interesting insights.

Abstract

Considering that practically all reactions that involve nucleotides also involve metal ions, it is evident that the coordination chemistry of nucleotides and their derivatives is an essential corner stone of biological inorganic chemistry. Nucleotides are either directly or indirectly involved in all processes occurring in Nature. It is therefore no surprise that the constituents of nucleotides have been chemically altered—that is, at the nucleobase residue, the sugar moiety, and also at the phosphate group, often with the aim of discovering medically useful compounds. Among such derivatives are acyclic nucleoside phosphonates (ANPs), where the sugar moiety has been replaced by an aliphatic chain (often also containing an ether oxygen atom) and the phosphate group has been replaced by a phosphonate carrying a carbon–phosphorus bond to make the compounds less hydrolysis-sensitive. Several of these ANPs show antiviral activity, and some of them are nowadays used as drugs. The antiviral activity results from the incorporation of the ANPs into the growing nucleic acid chain—i.e., polymerases accept the ANPs as substrates, leading to chain termination because of the missing 3′-hydroxyl group. We have tried in this review to describe the coordination chemistry (mainly) of the adenine nucleotides AMP and ATP and whenever possible to compare it with that of the dianion of 9-[2-(phosphonomethoxy)ethyl]adenine (PMEA2− = adenine(N9)-CH2-CH2-O-CH2-PO32) [or its diphosphate (PMEApp4−)] as a representative of the ANPs. Why is PMEApp4− a better substrate for polymerases than ATP4−? There are three reasons: (i) PMEA2− with its anti-like conformation (like AMP2−) fits well into the active site of the enzyme. (ii) The phosphonate group has an enhanced metal ion affinity because of its increased basicity. (iii) The ether oxygen forms a 5-membered chelate with the neighboring phosphonate and favors thus coordination at the Pα group. Research on ANPs containing a purine residue revealed that the kind and position of the substituent at C2 or C6 has a significant influence on the biological activity. For example, the shift of the (C6)NH2 group in PMEA to the C2 position leads to 9-[2-(phosphonomethoxy)ethyl]-2-aminopurine (PME2AP), an isomer with only a moderate antiviral activity. Removal of (C6)NH2 favors N7 coordination, e.g., of Cu2+, whereas the ether O atom binding of Cu2+ in PMEA facilitates N3 coordination via adjacent 5- and 7-membered chelates, giving rise to a Cu(PMEA)cl/O/N3 isomer. If the metal ions (M2+) are M(α,β)-M(γ)-coordinated at a triphosphate chain, transphosphorylation occurs (kinases, etc.), whereas metal ion binding in a M(α)-M(β,γ)-type fashion is relevant for polymerases. It may be noted that with diphosphorylated PMEA, (PMEApp4−), the M(α)-M(β,γ) binding is favored because of the formation of the 5-membered chelate involving the ether O atom (see above). The self-association tendency of purines leads to the formation of dimeric [M2(ATP)]2(OH)− stacks, which occur in low concentration and where one half of the molecule undergoes the dephosphorylation reaction and the other half stabilizes the structure—i.e., acts as the “enzyme” by bridging the two ATPs. In accord herewith, one may enhance the reaction rate by adding AMP2− to the [Cu2(ATP)]2(OH)− solution, as this leads to the formation of mixed stacked Cu3(ATP)(AMP)(OH)− species, in which AMP2− takes over the structuring role, while the other “half” of the molecule undergoes dephosphorylation. It may be added that Cu3(ATP)(PMEA) or better Cu3(ATP)(PMEA)(OH)− is even a more reactive species than Cu3(ATP)(AMP)(OH)−. – The matrix-assisted self-association and its significance for cell organelles with high ATP concentrations is summarized and discussed, as is, e.g., the effect of tryptophanate (Trp−), which leads to the formation of intramolecular stacks in M(ATP)(Trp)3− complexes (formation degree about 75%). Furthermore, it is well-known that in the active-site cavities of enzymes the dielectric constant, compared with bulk water, is reduced; therefore, we have summarized and discussed the effect of a change in solvent polarity on the stability and structure of binary and ternary complexes: Opposite effects on charged O sites and neutral N sites are observed, and this leads to interesting insights.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:540 Chemistry
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Analytical Chemistry
Physical Sciences > Chemistry (miscellaneous)
Life Sciences > Molecular Medicine
Life Sciences > Pharmaceutical Science
Life Sciences > Drug Discovery
Physical Sciences > Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
Physical Sciences > Organic Chemistry
Uncontrolled Keywords:Chemistry (miscellaneous), Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, Molecular Medicine, Drug Discovery, Pharmaceutical Science
Language:English
Date:19 April 2022
Deposited On:10 Jan 2023 16:54
Last Modified:28 Jun 2024 01:37
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:1420-3049
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27092625
PubMed ID:35565975
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)