Telomere Science Library

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about the Nobel-Prize Winning Science of Telomere Biology

Discovery of a structural-element specific G-quadruplex "light-up" probe.

Authors: Liyun L. Zhang, Jun Cheng JC. Er, Krishna Kanta KK. Ghosh, Wan Jun WJ. Chung, Jaeduk J. Yoo, Wang W. Xu, Wei W. Zhao, Anh Tuân AT. Phan, Young-Tae YT. Chang
Published: 01/20/2014, Scientific reports


The development of a fluorescent probe capable of detecting and distinguishing the wide diversity of G-quadruplex structures is particularly challenging. Herein, we report a novel BODIPY-based fluorescent sensor (GQR) that shows unprecedented selectivity to parallel-stranded G-quadruplexes with exposed ends and four medium grooves. Mechanistic studies suggest that GQR associates with G-quadruplex grooves close to the end of the tetrad core, which may explain the dye's specificity to only a subset of parallel structures. This specific recognition favours the disaggregation of GQR in aqueous solutions thereby recovering the inherent fluorescence of the dye. Due to its unique features, GQR represents a valuable tool for basic biological research and the rapid discovery of novel, specific ligands that target similar structural features of G-quadruplexes.

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