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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board Member: Buchner, Johannes / Ludwig, Stephan / Sies, Helmut / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

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G-Quadruplex DNA Structures Variations on a Theme

Tomas Simonsson

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry. Volume 382, Issue 4, Pages 621–628, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: 10.1515/BC.2001.073, June 2005

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To be functional, nucleic acids need to adopt particular threedimensional structures. For a long time DNA was regarded as a rigid and passive molecule with the sole purpose to store genetic information, but experimental data has now accumulated that indicates the full dynamic repertoire of this macromolecule. During the last decade, fourstranded DNA structures known as Gquadruplexes, or DNA tetraplexes, have emerged as a threedimensional structure of special interest. Motifs for the formation of Gquadruplex DNA structures are widely dispersed in eukaryotic genomes, and are abundant in regions of biological significance, for example, at telomeres, in the promoters of many important genes, and at recombination hotspots, to name but a few in man. Here I explore the plethora of Gquadruplex DNA structures, and discuss their possible biological functions as well as the proteins that interact with them.

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