G-Quadruplex DNA and RNA

Danzhou Yang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

38 Scopus citations


G-quadruplexes (G4s) have become one of the most exciting nucleic acid secondary structures. A noncanonical, four-stranded structure formed in guanine-rich DNA and RNA sequences, G-quadruplexes can readily form under physiologically relevant conditions and are globularly folded structures. DNA is widely recognized as a double-helical structure essential in genetic information storage. However, only ~3% of the human genome is expressed in protein; RNA and DNA may form noncanonical secondary structures that are functionally important. G-quadruplexes are one such example which have gained considerable attention for their formation and regulatory roles in biologically significant regions, such as human telomeres, oncogene-promoter regions, replication initiation sites, and 5′- and 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of mRNA. They are shown to be a regulatory motif in a number of critical cellular processes including gene transcription, translation, replication, and genomic stability. G-quadruplexes are also found in nonhuman genomes, particularly those of human pathogens. Therefore, G-quadruplexes have emerged as a new class of molecular targets for drug development. In addition, there is considerable interest in the use of G-quadruplexes for biomaterials, biosensors, and biocatalysts. The First International Meeting on Quadruplex DNA was held in 2007, and the G-quadruplex field has been growing dramatically over the last decade. The methods used to study G-quadruplexes have been essential to the rapid progress in our understanding of this exciting nucleic acid secondary structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Cancer
  • DNA
  • DNA damage
  • Drug target
  • G-quadruplexes
  • Human diseases
  • Human telomeres
  • Oncogene promoters
  • RNA
  • Replication
  • Transcription
  • Translation
  • UTR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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