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In this review, we give an overview of recent literature on the structure and stability of unimolecular G-rich quadruplex structures that are relevant to drug design and for in vivo function. The unifying theme in this review is energetics. The thermodynamic stability of quadruplexes has not been studied in the same detail as DNA and RNA duplexes, and there(More)
The structure of human telomere DNA is of intense interest because of its role in the biology of both cancer and aging. The sequence [5'-AGGG(TTAGGG)3] has been used as a model for telomere DNA in both NMR and X-ray crystallographic studies, the results of which show dramatically different structures. In Na+ solution, NMR revealed an antiparallel(More)
We show that nucleic acid structures may be conveniently and inexpensively characterized by their UV thermal difference spectra. A thermal difference spectrum (TDS) is obtained for a nucleic acid by simply recording the ultraviolet absorbance spectra of the unfolded and folded states at temperatures above and below its melting temperature (T(m)). The(More)
Cation-induced folding into quadruplex structures for three model human telomeric oligonucleotides, d[AGGG(TTAGGG)(3)], d[TTGGG(TTAGGG)(3)A] and d[TTGGG(TTAGGG)(3)], was characterized by equilibrium titrations with KCl and NaCl and by multiwavelength stopped flow kinetics. Cation binding was cooperative with Hill coefficients of 1.5-2.2 in K(+) and 2.4-2.9(More)
Monte Carlo simulations were used to reveal a subtle, hidden contribution to van't Hoff enthalpy estimates from small heat capacity changes. In simulated van't Hoff plots of ln K versus I/T, small heat capacity changes (-200 < or = delta Cp < or = +200 cal mol-1 K-1), for which curvature could not be discerned within the noise of the data, were found to(More)
Mutations occur at four specific sites in the hTERT promoter in >75% of glioblastomas and melanomas, but the mechanism by which the mutations affect gene expression remains unexplained. We report biophysical computational studies that show that the hTERT promoter sequence forms a novel G-quadruplex structure consisting of three contiguous, stacked parallel(More)
Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) are widely used to perturb the conformations of nucleic acids, including G-quadruplexes. The mechanism by which PEG alters G-quadruplex conformation is poorly understood. We describe here studies designed to determine how PEG and other co-solutes affect the conformation of the human telomeric quadruplex. Osmotic stress studies(More)
We describe the design, synthesis and biophysical characterization of a novel DNA construct in which a folded quadruplex structure is joined to a standard double helix. Circular dichroism, gel electrophoresis, three-dimensional UV melting and differential scanning calorimetry were all used to characterize the structure. Rigorous molecular dynamics(More)
The molecular docking tools Autodock and Surflex accurately reproduce the crystallographic structures of a collection of small molecule ligands that have been shown to bind nucleic acids. Docking studies were performed with the intercalators daunorubicin and ellipticine and the minor groove binders distamycin and pentamidine. Autodock and Surflex dock(More)
Human telomeric DNA consists of tandem repeats of the DNA sequence d(GGGTTA). Oligodeoxynucleotide telomere models such as d[A(GGGTTA)(3)GGG] (Tel22) fold in a cation-dependent manner into quadruplex structures consisting of stacked G-quartets linked by d(TTA) loops. NMR has shown that in Na(+) solutions Tel22 forms a "basket" topology of four antiparallel(More)