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Dissecting the Strand Folding Orientation and Formation of G-Quadruplexes in Single- and Double-Stranded Nucleic Acids by Ligand-Induced Photocleavage Footprinting

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posted on 2011-02-09, 00:00 authored by Ke-wei Zheng, Dan Zhang, Li-xia Zhang, Yu-hua Hao, Xiang Zhou, Zheng Tan
The widespread of G-quadruplex-forming sequences in genomic DNA and their role in regulating gene expression has made G-quadruplex structures attractive therapeutic targets against a variety of diseases, such as cancer. Information on the structure of G-quadruplexes is crucial for understanding their physiological roles and designing effective drugs against them. Resolving the structures of G-quadruplexes, however, remains a challenge especially for those in double-stranded DNA. In this work, we developed a photocleavage footprinting technique to determine the folding orientation of each individual G-tract in intramolecular G-quadruplex formed in both single- and double-stranded nucleic acids. Based on the differential photocleavage induced by a ligand tetrakis(2-trimethylaminoethylethanol) phthalocyaninato zinc tetraiodine (Zn-TTAPc) to the guanines between the two terminal G-quartets in a G-quadruplex, this method identifies the guanines hosted in each terminal G-quartets to reveal G-tract orientation. The method is extremely intuitive, straightforward, and requires little expertise. Besides, it also detects G-quadruplex formation in long single- and double-stranded nucleic acids.

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