Oligonucleotides of type GCn and GCnCG, where n = (G2AG4AG2), fold into well-defined, dimeric G-quadruplexes with unprecedented folding topologies in the presence of Na+ ions as revealed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Both G-quadruplexes exhibit unique combination of structural elements among which are two G-quartets, A(GGGG)A hexad and GCGC-quartet. Detailed structural characterization uncovered the crucial role of 5'-GC ends in formation of GCn and GCnCG G-quadruplexes. Folding in the presence of 15NH4+ and K+ ions leads to 3'–3' stacking of terminal G-quartets of GCn G-quadruplexes, while 3'-GC overhangs in GCnCG prevent dimerization. Results of the present study expand the repertoire of possible G-quadruplex structures. This knowledge will be useful in DNA sequence design for nanotechnological applications that may require specific folding topology and multimerization properties.
Mixtures of azo-functionalized amphiphilic derivatives of guanosine and of amphiphilic derivatives of other DNA nucleobases were deposited at an air–water interface and repeatedly irradiated with light of 340 and 440 nm wavelengths. The consequent switching between cis and trans configurations of the azobenzene moiety caused changes in the surface pressure of the film, which were analyzed using a model based on the two-dimensional Van der Waals equation of state. For mixed films of guanosine and cytidine derivatives, the analysis revealed a significant modification of the strength of intermolecular interaction caused by the optical irradiation, while no such modifications were identified in mixed films involving other nucleobases. The difference is attributed to light-induced breaking of the hydrogen bonding that is established only between specific nucleobases. The results demonstrate that photosensitive nucleoside derivatives can be used as an efficient probe for base-pairing in Langmuir monolayers.
The potential to affect gene expression via G-quadruplex stabilization has been extended to all domains of life, including viruses. Here, we investigate the polymorphism and structures of G-quadruplexes of the human papillomavirus type 52 with UV, CD and NMR spectroscopy and gel electrophoresis. We show that oligonucleotide with five G-tracts folds into several structures and that naturally occurring single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have profound effects on the structural polymorphism in the context of G-quadruplex forming propensity, conformational heterogeneity and folding stability. With help of SNP analysis, we were able to select one of the predominant forms, formed by G-rich sequence d(G3TAG3CAG4ACACAG3T). This oligonucleotide termed HPV52(1-4) adopts a three G-quartet snap back (3 + 1) type scaffold with four syn guanine residues, two edgewise loops spanning the same groove, a no-residue V loop and a propeller type loop. The first guanine residue is incorporated in the central G-quartet and all four-guanine residues from G4 stretch are included in the three quartet G-quadruplex core. Modification studies identified several structural elements that are important for stabilization of the described G-quadruplex fold. Our results expand set of G-rich targets in viral genomes and address the fundamental questions regarding folding of G-rich sequences.