© 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
DNA sequences that can form intramolecular quadruplex structures are found in promoters of proto-oncogenes. Many of these sequences readily fold into parallel quadruplexes. Here we characterize the ability of yeast Pif1 to bind and unfold a parallel quadruplex DNA substrate. We found that Pif1 binds more tightly to the parallel quadruplex DNA than single-stranded DNA or tailed duplexes. However, Pif1 unwinding of duplexes occurs at a much faster rate than unfolding of a parallel intramolecular quadruplex. Pif1 readily unfolds a parallel quadruplex DNA substrate in a multiturnover reaction and also generates some product under single cycle conditions. The rate of ATP hydrolysis by Pif1 is reduced when bound to a parallel quadruplex compared with single-stranded DNA. ATP hydrolysis occurs at a faster rate than quadruplex unfolding, indicating that some ATP hydrolysis events are non-productive during unfolding of intramolecular parallel quadruplex DNA. However, product eventually accumulates at a slow rate.