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  1. All-organic, heavy-atom-free photosensitizers based on thionation of nucleobases are receiving increased attention because they are easy to make, noncytotoxic, work both in the presence and absence of molecular oxygen and can be readily incorporated into DNA and RNA. In this contribution, the DNA and RNA fluorescent probe, thieno[3,4-d]pyrimidin-4(1H)-one, has been thionated to develop thieno[3,4-d]pyrimidin-4(1H)-thione, which is nonfluorescent and absorbs near-visible radiation with about 60% higher efficiency. Steady-state absorption and emission spectra are combined with transient absorption spectroscopy and CASPT2 calculations to delineate the electronic relaxation mechanisms of both pyrimidine derivatives in aqueous and acetonitrile solutions and to explain the originmore »of the remarkable fluorescence quenching in the thionated compound. It is demonstrated that thieno[3,4-d]pyrimidin-4(1H)-thione efficiently populates the long-lived and reactive triplet state in hundreds of femtoseconds independent of solvent. Conversely, fluorescence emission in thieno[3,4-d]pyrimidin-4(1H)-one is highly sensitive to solvent, with an order of magnitude decrease in fluorescence yield in going from aqueous to acetonitrile solution. Collectively, the experimental and computational results demonstrate that thieno[3,4-d]pyrimidine-4(1H)-thione stands out as the most promising thiopyrimidine photosensitizer developed to this date, which can be readily incorporated as a photodynamic agent into sequence-specific DNA and RNA sequences for the treatment of skin cancer cells.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 14, 2022
  2. Abstract In heterozygous genomes, allele-specific measurements can reveal biologically significant differences in DNA methylation between homologous alleles associated with local changes in genetic sequence. Current approaches for detecting such events from whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) data perform statistically independent marginal analysis at individual cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) sites, thus ignoring correlations in the methylation state, or carry-out a joint statistical analysis of methylation patterns at four CpG sites producing unreliable statistical evidence. Here, we employ the one-dimensional Ising model of statistical physics and develop a method for detecting allele-specific methylation (ASM) events within segments of DNA containing clusters of linked single-nucleotide polymorphismsmore »(SNPs), called haplotypes. Comparisons with existing approaches using simulated and real WGBS data show that our method provides an improved fit to data, especially when considering large haplotypes. Importantly, the method employs robust hypothesis testing for detecting statistically significant imbalances in mean methylation level and methylation entropy, as well as for identifying haplotypes for which the genetic variant carries significant information about the methylation state. As such, our ASM analysis approach can potentially lead to biological discoveries with important implications for the genetics of complex human diseases.« less
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2022