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Biochimie. 2008 Aug;90(8):1250-63. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2008.02.013. Epub 2008 Feb 21.

In vivo veritas: using yeast to probe the biological functions of G-quadruplexes.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Certain guanine-rich sequences are capable of forming higher order structures known as G-quadruplexes. Moreover, particular genomic regions in a number of highly divergent organisms are enriched for such sequences, raising the possibility that G-quadruplexes form in vivo and affect cellular processes. While G-quadruplexes have been rigorously studied in vitro, whether these structures actually form in vivo and what their roles might be in the context of the cell have remained largely unanswered questions. Recent studies suggest that G-quadruplexes participate in the regulation of such varied processes as telomere maintenance, transcriptional regulation and ribosome biogenesis. Here we review studies aimed at elucidating the in vivo functions of quadruplex structures, with a particular focus on findings in yeast. In addition, we discuss the utility of yeast model systems in the study of the cellular roles of G-quadruplexes.

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