An intramolecular G-quadruplex structure is required for binding of telomeric repeat-containing RNA to the telomeric protein TRF2

J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Jul 25;134(29):11974-6. doi: 10.1021/ja305734x. Epub 2012 Jul 13.


Telomeric repeat-containing RNA (TERRA) is important for telomere regulation, but the structural basis for how TERRA localizes to chromosome ends is unknown. Here we report on studies exploring whether the TERRA G-quadruplex structure is critical for binding to telomeres. We demonstrate that the telomeric protein TRF2 binds TERRA via interactions that necessitate the formation of a G-quadruplex structure rather than the TERRA sequence per se. We also show that TRF2 simultaneously binds TERRA and telomeric duplex or G-quadruplex DNA. These observations suggest that the TERRA G-quadruplex is a key feature of telomere organization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • G-Quadruplexes*
  • Humans
  • Protein Binding
  • RNA / chemistry*
  • RNA / metabolism*
  • Telomere / metabolism*
  • Telomeric Repeat Binding Protein 2 / metabolism*


  • Telomeric Repeat Binding Protein 2
  • RNA