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Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Aug;39(15):6753-63. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr233. Epub 2011 May 2.

Solution structure of all parallel G-quadruplex formed by the oncogene RET promoter sequence.

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State Key Laboratory of Bio-organic and Natural Products Chemistry, Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 200032, China.


RET protein functions as a receptor-type tyrosine kinase and has been found to be aberrantly expressed in a wide range of human diseases. A highly GC-rich region upstream of the promoter plays an important role in the transcriptional regulation of RET. Here, we report the NMR solution structure of the major intramolecular G-quadruplex formed on the G-rich strand of this region in K(+) solution. The overall G-quadruplex is composed of three stacked G-tetrad and four syn guanines, which shows distinct features for all parallel-stranded folding topology. The core structure contains one G-tetrad with all syn guanines and two other with all anti-guanines. There are three double-chain reversal loops: the first and the third loops are made of 3 nt G-C-G segments, while the second one contains only 1 nt C10. These loops interact with the core G-tetrads in a specific way that defines and stabilizes the overall G-quadruplex structure and their conformations are in accord with the experimental mutations. The distinct RET promoter G-quadruplex structure suggests that it can be specifically involved in gene regulation and can be an attractive target for pathway-specific drug design.

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