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Sci Rep. 2015 Dec 2;5:17574. doi: 10.1038/srep17574.

Structural Insight into the interaction of Flavonoids with Human Telomeric Sequence.

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Centre for Biosciences and Biomedical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Indore, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India.


Flavonoids are a group of naturally available compounds that are an attractive source for drug discovery. Their potential to act as anti-tumourigenic and anti-proliferative agents has been reported previously but is not yet fully understood. Targeting human telomeric G-quadruplex DNA could be one of the mechanisms by which these flavonoids exert anticancer activity. We have performed detailed biophysical studies for the interaction of four representative flavonoids, Luteolin, Quercetin, Rutin and Genistein, with the human telomeric G-quadruplex sequence tetramolecular d-(T2AG3T) (Tel7). In addition, we used NMR spectroscopy to derive the first model for the complex formed between Quercetin and G-quadruplex sequence. The model showed that Quercetin stabilises the G-quadruplex structure and does not open the G-tetrad. It interacts with the telomeric sequence through π-stacking at two sites: between T1pT2 and between G6pT7. Based on our findings, we suggest that Quercetin could be a potent candidate for targeting the telomere and thus, act as a potent anti-cancer agent.

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