Molecular recognition of the hybrid-type G-quadruplexes in human telomeres

Guanhui Wu, Luying Chen, Wenting Liu, Danzhou Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


G-quadruplex (G4) DNA secondary structures formed in human telomeres have been shown to inhibit cancer-specific telomerase and alternative lengthening of telomere (ALT) pathways. Thus, human telomeric G-quadruplexes are considered attractive targets for anticancer drugs. Human telomeric G-quadruplexes are structurally polymorphic and predominantly form two hybrid-type G-quadruplexes, namely hybrid-1 and hybrid-2, under physiologically relevant solution conditions. To date, only a handful solution structures are available for drug complexes of human telomeric G-quadruplexes. In this review, we will describe two recent solution structural studies from our labs. We use NMR spectroscopy to elucidate the solution structure of a 1:1 complex between a small molecule epiberberine and the hybrid-2 telomeric G-quadruplex, and the structures of 1:1 and 4:2 complexes between a small molecule Pt-tripod and the hybrid-1 telomeric G-quadruplex. Structural information of small molecule complexes can provide important information for understanding small molecule recognition of human telomeric G-quadruplexes and for structure-based rational drug design targeting human telomeric G-quadruplexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1578
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 22 2019


  • Anticancer drug
  • Epi-berberine
  • G-quadruplex
  • G4
  • Human telomeres
  • Hybrid-1
  • Hybrid-2
  • Molecular recognition
  • Platinum-tripod
  • Rational drug design
  • Solution structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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