Bouffier L., Wang B. S., Roget A., Livache T., Demeunynck M., Mailley P.
Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2014, 406(4), 1163-1172.

A synthetic redox probe structurally related to natural pyridoacridones was designed and electrochemically characterised. These heterocycles behave as DNA intercalators due to their extended planar structure that promotes stacking in between nucleic acid base pairs. Electrochemical characterization by cyclic voltammetry revealed a quasi-reversible electrochemical behaviour occurring at a mild negative potential in aqueous solution. The study of the mechanism showed that the iminoquinone redox moiety acts similarly to quinone involving a two-electron reduction coupled with proton transfer. The easily accessible potential region with respect to aqueous electro-inactive window makes the pyridoacridone ring suitable for the indirect electrochemical detection of chemically unlabelled DNA. Its usefulness as electrochemical hybridization indicator was assessed on immobilised DNA and compared to doxorubicin. The voltamperometric response of the intercalator acts as an indicator of the presence of double-stranded DNA at the electrode surface and allows the selective transduction of immobilised oligonucleotide hybridization at both macro- and microscale electrodes.