Combining a Ru(II) “Building Block” and Rapid Screening Approach to Identify DNA Structure-Selective “Light Switch” Compounds

Erin Wachter, Diego Moyá, Edith C. Glazer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A chemically reactive Ru(II) “building block”, able to undergo condensation reactions with substituted diamines, was utilized to create a small library of luminescent “light switch” dipyrido-[3,2-a:2′,3′-c] phenazine (dppz) complexes. The impact of substituent identity, position, and the number of substituents on the light switch effect was investigated. An unbiased, parallel screening approach was used to evaluate the selectivity of the compounds for a variety of different biomolecules, including protein, nucleosides, single stranded DNA, duplex DNA, triplex DNA, and G-quadruplex DNA. Combining these two approaches allowed for the identification of hit molecules that showed different selectivities for biologically relevant DNA structures, particularly triplex and quadruplex DNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-95
Number of pages11
JournalACS Combinatorial Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 13 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (1R01GM107586). E.W. acknowledges the University of Kentucky Research Challenge Trust Fund for providing fellowship support. Some chemical analysis was performed at the University of Kentucky Environmental Research Training Laboratory (ERTL). The luminescent experiments were performed using a plate reader in the Center for Molecular Medicine Protein Core, which is funded through NIH/NIGMS COBRE grant P30GM110787.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.


  • DNA structure-selective
  • Ru(II)
  • biologically relevant
  • library
  • parallel screening
  • “light switch” compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)


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