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Human Telomere G-Quadruplexes with Five Repeats Accommodate 8-Oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine by Looping out the DNA Damage.

Authors: Na N. An, Aaron M AM. Fleming, Cynthia J CJ. Burrows
Published: 12/29/2015, ACS chemical biology


Inflammation and oxidative stress generate free radicals that oxidize guanine (G) in DNA to 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine (OG), and this reaction is prominent in the G-rich telomere sequence. In telomeres, OG is not efficiently removed by repair pathways allowing its concentration to build, surprisingly without any immediate negative consequences to stability. Herein, OG was synthesized in five repeats of the human telomere sequence (TTAGGG)n, at the 5'-G of the 5'-most, middle, and 3'-most G tracks, representing hotspots for oxidation. These synthetic oligomers were folded in relevant amounts of K(+)/Na(+) to adopt hybrid G-quadruplex folds. The structural impact of OG was assayed by circular dichroism, thermal melting, (1)H NMR, and single-molecule profiling by the α-hemolysin nanopore. On the basis of these results, OG was well accommodated in the five-repeat sequences by looping out the damaged G track to allow the other four tracks to adopt a hybrid G-quadruplex. These results run counter to previous studies with OG in four-repeat telomere sequences that found OG to be highly destabilizing and causing significant reorientation of the fold. When taking a wider view of the human telomere sequence and considering additional repeats, we found OG to cause minimal impact on the structure. The plasticity of this repeat sequence addresses how OG concentrations can increase in telomeres without immediate telomere instability or attrition.

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