Project description:Background:The concept of chromatin domains attached to the nuclear matrix is being revisited, with nucleus described as a set of topologically associating domains. The significance of the tightly bound to DNA proteins (TBP), a protein group that remains attached to DNA after its deproteinization should be also revisited, as the existence of these interactions is in good agreement with the concept of the topologically associating domain. The work aimed to characterize the DNA component of TBP isolated from barley seedlings. Methods:The tight DNA-protein complexes from the first leaves, coleoptiles, and roots of barley seedlings were isolated by purification with chromatography on nitrocellulose or exhaustive digestion of DNA with DNase I. Cloning and transformation were performed using pMOSBBlue Blunt Ended Cloning Kit. Inserts were amplified by PCR, and sequencing was performed on the MegaBace 1000 Sequencing System. The BLAST search was performed using sequence databases at NCBI, CR-EST, and TREP and Ensembl Plants databases. Comparison to MAR/SAR sequences was performed using http://smartdb.bioinf.med.uni-goettingen.de/cgi-bin/SMARtDB/smar.cgi database. The prediction of G quadruplexes (GQ) was performed with the aid of R-studio library pqsfinder. CD spectra were recorded on a Chirascan CS/3D spectrometer. Results:Although the barley genome is AT-rich (43% of GC pairs), most DNA fragments associated with TBP were GC-rich (up to 70% in some fractions). Both fractionation procedures yielded a high proportion of CT-motif sequences presented predominantly by the 16-bp CC(TCTCCC)2 TC fragment present in clones derived from the TBP-bound DNA and absent in free DNA. BLAST analysis revealed alignment with different barley repeats. Some clones, however, aligned with both nuclear and chloroplast structural genes. Alignments with MAR/SAR motifs were very few. The analysis produced by the pqsfinder program revealed numerous potential quadruplex-forming sites in the TBP-bound sequences. A set of oligonucleotides containing sites of possible GQs were designed and ordered. Three of them represented the minus strand of the CT-repeat. Two were derived from sequences of two clones of nitrocellulose retained fraction from leaves and contained GC-rich motifs different from the CT motif. Circular dichroism spectroscopy revealed profound changes in spectra when oligonucleotides were incubated with 100 mM KCl. There was either an increase of positive band in the area of 260 nm or the formation of a positive band at 290 nm. In the former case, changes are typical for parallel G-quadruplexes and, in the latter, 3 + 1 structures. Discussion:The G-quadruplexes anchor proteins are probably involved in the maintenance of the topologically associated domain structure.
Project description:Unusual DNA/RNA structures of the C9orf72 repeat may participate in repeat expansions or pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. Expanded repeats are CpG methylated with unknown consequences. Typically, quadruplex structures form by G-rich but not complementary C-rich strands. Using CD, UV and electrophoresis, we characterized the structures formed by (GGGGCC)8 and (GGCCCC)8 strands with and without 5-methylcytosine (5mCpG) or 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmCpG) methylation. All strands formed heterogenous mixtures of structures, with features of quadruplexes (at pH 7.5, in K(+), Na(+) or Li(+)), but no feature typical of i-motifs. C-rich strands formed quadruplexes, likely stabilized by G•C•G•C-tetrads and C•C•C•C-tetrads. Unlike G•G•G•G-tetrads, some G•C•G•C-tetrad conformations do not require the N7-Guanine position, hence C9orf72 quadruplexes still formed when N7-deazaGuanine replace all Guanines. 5mCpG and 5hmCpG increased and decreased the thermal stability of these structures. hnRNPK, through band-shift analysis, bound C-rich but not G-rich strands, with a binding preference of unmethylated > 5hmCpG > 5mCpG, where methylated DNA-protein complexes were retained in the wells, distinct from unmethylated complexes. Our findings suggest that for C-rich sequences interspersed with G-residues, one must consider quadruplex formation and that methylation of quadruplexes may affect epigenetic processes.
Project description:Guanine-rich DNA sequences can form G-quadruplexes stabilized by stacked G-G-G-G tetrads in monovalent cation-containing solution. The length and number of individual G-tracts and the length and sequence context of linker residues define the diverse topologies adopted by G-quadruplexes. The review highlights recent solution NMR-based G-quadruplex structures formed by the four-repeat human telomere in K(+) solution and the guanine-rich strands of c-myc, c-kit and variant bcl-2 oncogenic promoters, as well as a bimolecular G-quadruplex that targets HIV-1 integrase. Such structure determinations have helped to identify unanticipated scaffolds such as interlocked G-quadruplexes, as well as novel topologies represented by double-chain-reversal and V-shaped loops, triads, mixed tetrads, adenine-mediated pentads and hexads and snap-back G-tetrad alignments. The review also highlights the recent identification of guanine-rich sequences positioned adjacent to translation start sites in 5'-untranslated regions (5'-UTRs) of RNA oncogenic sequences. The activity of the enzyme telomerase, which maintains telomere length, can be negatively regulated through G-quadruplex formation at telomeric ends. The review evaluates progress related to ongoing efforts to identify small molecule drugs that bind and stabilize distinct G-quadruplex scaffolds associated with telomeric and oncogenic sequences, and outlines progress towards identifying recognition principles based on several X-ray-based structures of ligand-G-quadruplex complexes.
Project description:G-quadruplexes are noncannonical four-stranded DNA or RNA structures formed by guanine-rich repeating sequences. Guanine nucleotides can hydrogen bond to form a planar tetrad structure. Such tetrads can stack to form quadruplexes of various molecularities with a variety of types of single-stranded loops joining the tetrads. High-resolution structures may be obtained by X-ray crystallography or NMR spectroscopy for quadruplexes formed by short (≈25 nt) sequences but these methods have yet to succeed in characterizing higher order quadruplex structures formed by longer sequences. An integrated computational and experimental approach was implemented in our laboratory to obtain structural models for higher order quadruplexes that might form in longer telomeric or promoter sequences. In our approach, atomic-level models are built using folding principles gleaned from available high-resolution structures and then optimized by molecular dynamics. The program HYDROPRO is then used to construct bead models of these structures to predict experimentally testable hydrodynamic properties. Models are validated by comparison of these properties with measured experimental values obtained by analytical ultracentrifugation or other biophysical tools. This chapter describes our approach and practical procedures.
Project description:Non-canonical, four-stranded nucleic acids secondary structures are present within regulatory regions in the human genome and transcriptome. To date, these quadruplex structures include both DNA and RNA G-quadruplexes, formed in guanine-rich sequences, and i-Motifs, found in cytosine-rich sequences, as their counterparts. Quadruplexes have been extensively associated with cancer, playing an important role in telomere maintenance and control of genetic expression of several oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Therefore, quadruplex structures are considered attractive molecular targets for cancer therapeutics with novel mechanisms of action. In this review, we provide a general overview about recent research on the implications of quadruplex structures in cancer, firstly gathering together DNA G-quadruplexes, RNA G-quadruplexes as well as DNA i-Motifs.
Project description:G-quadruplexes are higher-order DNA and RNA structures formed from G-rich sequences that are built around tetrads of hydrogen-bonded guanine bases. Potential quadruplex sequences have been identified in G-rich eukaryotic telomeres, and more recently in non-telomeric genomic DNA, e.g. in nuclease-hypersensitive promoter regions. The natural role and biological validation of these structures is starting to be explored, and there is particular interest in them as targets for therapeutic intervention. This survey focuses on the folding and structural features on quadruplexes formed from telomeric and non-telomeric DNA sequences, and examines fundamental aspects of topology and the emerging relationships with sequence. Emphasis is placed on information from the high-resolution methods of X-ray crystallography and NMR, and their scope and current limitations are discussed. Such information, together with biological insights, will be important for the discovery of drugs targeting quadruplexes from particular genes.
Project description:G-quadruplexes (G4) are non-canonical DNA and/or RNA secondary structures formed in guanine-rich regions. Given their over-representation in specific regions in the genome such as promoters and telomeres, they are likely to play important roles in key processes such as transcription, replication or RNA maturation. Putative G4-forming sequences (G4FS) have been reported in humans, yeast, bacteria, viruses and many organisms. Here we present the first mapping of G-quadruplex sequences in Dictyostelium discoideum, the social amoeba. 'Dicty' is an ameboid protozoan with a small (34 Mb) and extremely AT rich genome (78%). As a consequence, very few G4-prone motifs are expected. An in silico analysis of the Dictyostelium genome with the G4Hunter software detected 249-1055 G4-prone motifs, depending on G4Hunter chosen threshold. Interestingly, despite an even lower GC content (as compared to the whole Dicty genome), the density of G4 motifs in Dictyostelium promoters and introns is significantly higher than in the rest of the genome. Fourteen selected sequences located in important genes were characterized by a combination of biophysical and biochemical techniques. Our data show that these sequences form highly stable G4 structures under physiological conditions. Five Dictyostelium genes containing G4-prone motifs in their promoters were studied for the effect of a new G4-binding porphyrin derivative on their expression. Our results demonstrated that the new ligand significantly decreased their expression. Overall, our results constitute the first step to adopt Dictyostelium discoideum as a 'G4-poor' model for studies on G-quadruplexes.
Project description:G-quadruplexes, four-stranded structures formed by Guanine-rich nucleic acids, are implicated in many physiological and pathological processes. G-quadruplex-forming sequences are abundant in genomic DNA, and G-quadruplexes have recently been shown to exist in the genome of mammalian cells. However, how G-quadruplexes are formed in the genomes remains largely unclear. Here, we show that G-quadruplex formation can be remotely induced by downstream transcription events that are thousands of base pairs away. The induced G-quadruplexes alter protein recognition and cause transcription termination at the local region. These results suggest that a G-quadruplex-forming sequence can serve as a sensor or receiver to sense remote DNA tracking activity in response to the propagation of mechanical torsion in a DNA double helix. We propose that the G-quadruplex formation may provide a mean for long-range sensing and communication between distal genomic locations to coordinate regulatory transactions in genomic DNA.
Project description:Isoguanine (2-oxo-6-amino-guanine), a natural but non-standard base, exhibits unique self-association properties compared to its isomer, guanine, and results in formation of different higher order DNA structures. In this work, the higher order structures formed by oligonucleotides containing guanine repeats or isoguanine repeats after annealing in solutions containing various cations are evaluated by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. The guanine-containing strand (G9) consistently formed quadruplexes upon annealing, whereas the isoguanine strand (Ig9) formed both pentaplexes and quadruplexes depending on the annealing cation. Quadruplex formation with G9 showed some dependence on the identity of the cation present during annealing with high relative quadruplex formation detected with six of ten cations. Analogous annealing experiments with Ig9 resulted in complex formation with all ten cations, and the majority of the resulting complexes were pentaplexes. CD results indicated most of the original complexes survived the desalting process necessary for ESI-MS analysis. In addition, several complexes, especially the pentaplexes, were found to be capable of cation exchange with ammonium ions. Ab initio calculations were conducted for isoguanine tetrads and pentads coordinated with all ten cations to predict the most energetically stable structures of the complexes in the gas phase. The observed preference of forming quadruplexes versus pentaplexes as a function of the coordinated cation can be interpreted by the calculated reaction energies of both the tetrads and pentads in combination with the distortion energies of tetrads.
Project description:G-quadruplexes are DNA or RNA secondary structures that can be formed from guanine-rich nucleic acids. These four-stranded structures, composed of stacked quartets of guanine bases, can be highly stable and have been demonstrated to occur in vivo in the DNA of human cells and other systems, where they play important biological roles, influencing processes such as telomere maintenance, DNA replication and transcription, or, in the case of RNA G-quadruplexes, RNA translation and processing. We report for the first time that DNA G-quadruplexes can be detected in the nuclei of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, which has one of the most A/T-biased genomes sequenced and therefore possesses few guanine-rich sequences with the potential to form G-quadruplexes. We show that despite this paucity of putative G-quadruplex-forming sequences, P. falciparum parasites are sensitive to several G-quadruplex-stabilizing drugs, including quarfloxin, which previously reached phase 2 clinical trials as an anticancer drug. Quarfloxin has a rapid initial rate of kill and is active against ring stages as well as replicative stages of intraerythrocytic development. We show that several G-quadruplex-stabilizing drugs, including quarfloxin, can suppress the transcription of a G-quadruplex-containing reporter gene in P. falciparum but that quarfloxin does not appear to disrupt the transcription of rRNAs, which was proposed as its mode of action in both human cells and trypanosomes. These data suggest that quarfloxin has potential for repositioning as an antimalarial with a novel mode of action. Furthermore, G-quadruplex biology in P. falciparum may present a target for development of other new antimalarial drugs.