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Stability of Intramolecular DNA Quadruplexes:  Comparison with DNA Duplexes

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journal contribution
posted on 08.05.2003, 00:00 by Antonina Risitano, Keith R. Fox
We have determined the stability of intramolecular quadruplexes that are formed by a variety of G-rich sequences, using oligonucleotides containing appropriately placed fluorophores and quenchers. The stability of these quadruplexes is compared with that of the DNA duplexes that are formed on addition of complementary C-rich oligonucleotides. We find that the linkers joining the G-tracts are not essential for folding and can be replaced with nonnucleosidic moieties, though their sequence composition profoundly affects quadruplex stability. Although the human telomere repeat sequence d[G3(TTAG3)3] folds into a quadruplex structure, this forms a duplex in the presence of the complementary C-rich strand at physiological conditions. The Tetrahymena sequence d[G4(T2G4)3], the sequence d[G3(T2G3)3], and sequences related to regions of the c-myc promoter d(G4AG4T)2 and d(G4AG3T)2 preferentially adopt the quadruplex form in potassium-containing buffers, even in the presence of a 50-fold excess of their complementary C-rich strands, though the duplex predominates in the presence of sodium. The HIV integrase inhibitor d[G3(TG3)3] forms an extremely stable quadruplex which is not affected by addition of a 50-fold excess of the complementary C-rich strand in both potassium- and sodium-containing buffers. Replacing the TTA loops of the human telomeric repeat with AAA causes a large decrease in quadruplex stability, though a sequence with AAA in the first loop and TTT in the second and third loops is slightly more stable.

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