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The Expression of Human DNA Helicase B Is Affected by G‑Quadruplexes in the Promoter

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journal contribution
posted on 07.06.2020, 14:13 by Maroof Khan Zafar, Lindsey Hazeslip, Muhammad Zain Chauhan, Alicia K. Byrd
G-Quadruplexes are secondary structures that can form in guanine-rich DNA and RNA that have been implicated in regulating multiple biological processes, including transcription. G-Quadruplex-forming sequences are prevalent in promoter regions of proto-oncogenes and DNA repair proteins. HELB is a human helicase involved in DNA replication and repair with 12 runs of three to four guanines in the proximal promoter. This sequence has the potential to form three canonical three-tetrad G-quadruplexes. Our results show that although all three G-quadruplexes can form, a structure containing two noncanonical G-quadruplexes with longer loops containing runs of three to four guanines is the most prevalent. These HELB G-quadruplexes are stable under physiological conditions. In cells, stabilization of the G-quadruplexes results in a decrease in the level of HELB expression, suggesting that the G-quadruplexes in the HELB promoter serve as transcriptional repressors.