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Nucleic Acids Res. 1995 Feb 25;23(4):696-700.

A new DNA nanostructure, the G-wire, imaged by scanning probe microscopy.

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  • 1Department of Zoology and Genetics, Iowa State University, Ames 50011.


G-DNA is a polymorphic family of quadruple helical nucleic acid structures containing guanine tetrad motifs [G-quartets; Williamson, J.R., Raghuraman, M.K. and Cech, T.R. (1989) Cell 59, 871-880; Williamson, J.R. (1993) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 90, 3124-3124]. Guanine rich oligonucleotides that are self-complimentary, as found in many telomeric G-strand repeat sequences, form G-DNA in the presence of monovalent and/or divalent metal cations. In this report we use the atomic force microscope (AFM) to explore the structural characteristics of long, linear polymers formed by the telomeric oligonucleotide d(GGGGTTGGGG) in the presence of specific metal cations. In the AFM these polymers, termed G-wires, appear as filaments whose height and length are determined by the metal ions present during the self-assembly process. The highly ordered, controllable self-assembly of G-wires could provide a basis for developing advanced biomaterials.

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