Beyond the double helix: Structure of DNA G-quadruplexes


DNA is the fundamental biomolecule needed for correct cell functioning and, until very recently, it was associated to the double helix structure discovered over 70 years ago by Crick, Watson, and Franklin. However, other DNA structures and conformations have been described, like G-quadruplexes. These G-quadruplexes are formed in regions of the genome that are rich in guanine. They have tetramer structure and control biological processes such as genetic expression, protection against ageing, or the transmission of neural information. In this document, we describe their chemical and structural characteristics, besides presenting their main cellular functions. Lastly, we present G-quadruplexes as molecular targets for future cancer therapies.


G-quadruplex; DNA; telomeres; oncogene; drug

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