Four-stranded DNA structures were structurally characterized in vitro by NMR, X-ray and Circular Dichroism spectroscopy in detail. Among the different types of quadruplexes (i-Motifs, minor groove quadruplexes, G-quadruplexes, etc.), the best described are G-quadruplexes which are featured by Hoogsteen base-paring. Sequences with the potential to form quadruplexes are widely present in genome of all organisms. They are found often in repetitive sequences such as telomeric ones, and also in promoter regions and 5' non-coding sequences. Recently, many proteins with binding affinity to G-quadruplexes have been identified. One of the initially portrayed G-rich regions, the human telomeric sequence (TTAGGG)n, is recognized by many proteins which can modulate telomerase activity. Sequences with the potential to form G-quadruplexes are often located in promoter regions of various oncogenes. The NHE III1 region of the c-MYC promoter has been shown to interact with nucleolin protein as well as other G-quadruplex-binding proteins. A number of G-rich sequences are also present in promoter region of estrogen receptor alpha. In addition to DNA quadruplexes, RNA quadruplexes, which are critical in translational regulation, have also been predicted and observed. For example, the RNA quadruplex formation in telomere-repeat-containing RNA is involved in interaction with TRF2 (telomere repeat binding factor 2) and plays key role in telomere regulation. All these fundamental examples suggest the importance of quadruplex structures in cell processes and their understanding may provide better insight into aging and disease development.