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Front Genet. 2019 Oct 18;10:1002. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2019.01002. eCollection 2019.

Unraveling the Regulatory G-Quadruplex Puzzle: Lessons From Genome and Transcriptome-Wide Studies.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute for Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Therapeutics, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Suwon, South Korea.
2
Samsung Biomedical Research Institute, Samsung Advanced Institute for Health Sciences and Technology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.

Abstract

G-quadruplexes (G4s) are among the best-characterized DNA secondary structures and are enriched in regulatory regions, especially promoters, of several prokaryote and eukaryote genomes, indicating a possible role in cis regulation of genes. Many studies have focused on evaluating the impact of specific G4-forming sequences in the promoter regions of genes. However, the lack of correlation between the presence of G4s and the functional impact on cis gene regulation, evidenced by the variable expression fold change in the presence of G4 stabilizers, shows that not all G4s affect transcription in the same manner. This indicates that the regulatory effect of the G4 is significantly influenced by its position, the surrounding DNA topology, and other environmental factors within the cell. In this review, we compare individual gene studies with high-throughput differential expression studies to highlight the importance of formulating a combined approach that can be applied in humans, bacteria, and viruses to better understand the effect of G4-mediated gene regulation.

KEYWORDS:

G-quadruplex; gene expression; genome-wide study; secondary structure; transcription; transcriptome

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