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Curr Pharm Des. 2012;18(14):1867-72.

Cell cycle regulation of G-quadruplex DNA structures at telomeres.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Biocenter, University of Würzburg, Am Hubland, Würzburg, Germany.


DNA and RNA regions containing tracts of guanines can form very stable secondary structures called G-quadruplex (G4). Genomic sequences with the potential to form G4 (G4-motifs) are abundant across species. In all analyzed genomes G4 motifs are found near promoter regions and double strand break sites and at telomeres. Telomeres are very G-rich and prone for G4 formation. Therefore they are routinely used in in vitro and in vivo experiments to elucidate the function of G4 structures in telomere metabolism. Recently various labs demonstrated that telomere length maintenance is mediated via G4 structures. Telomere-binding proteins specifically bind to G4 structure and regulate this structure throughout the cell cycle.

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