Quadruplex DNA structures are attracting an enormous interest in many areas of chemistry, ranging from chemical biology, supramolecular chemistry to nanoscience. We have prepared carbohydrate-DNA conjugates containing the oligonucleotide sequences of G-quadruplexes (thrombin binding aptamer (TBA) and human telomere (TEL)), measured their thermal stability and studied their structure in solution by using NMR and molecular dynamics. The solution structure of a fucose-TBA conjugate shows stacking interactions between the carbohydrate and the DNA G-tetrad in addition to hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic contacts. We have also shown that attaching carbohydrates at the 5'-end of a quadruplex telomeric sequence can alter its folding topology. These results suggest the possibility of modulating the folding of the G-quadruplex by linking carbohydrates and have clear implications in molecular recognition and the design of new G-quadruplex ligands.
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