Unique structural features of interconverting monomeric and dimeric G-quadruplexes adopted by a sequence from the intron of the N-myc gene

J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Mar 7;134(9):4132-41. doi: 10.1021/ja208483v. Epub 2012 Feb 22.


A multidimensional heteronuclear NMR study has demonstrated that a guanine-rich DNA oligonucleotide originating from the N-myc gene folds into G-quadruplex structures in the presence of K(+), NH(4)(+), and Na(+) ions. A monomeric G-quadruplex formed in K(+) ion containing solution exhibits three G-quartets and flexible propeller-type loops. The 3D structure with three single nucleotide loops represents a missing element in structures of parallel G-quadruplexes. The structural features together with the high temperature stability are suggestive of the specific biological role of G-quadruplex formation within the intron of the N-myc gene. An increase in K(+) ion and oligonucleotide concentrations resulted in transformation of the monomeric G-quadruplex into a dimeric form. The dimeric G-quadruplex exhibits six stacked G-quartets, parallel strand orientations, and propeller-type loops. A link between the third and the fourth G-quartets consists of two adenine residues that are flipped out to facilitate consecutive stacking of six G-quartets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • G-Quadruplexes*
  • Genes, myc / genetics*
  • Introns
  • Models, Molecular
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Oligonucleotides / chemical synthesis
  • Oligonucleotides / chemistry
  • Potassium / chemistry


  • Oligonucleotides
  • Potassium