Quantitative visualization of DNA G-quadruplex structures in human cells

Nat Chem. 2013 Mar;5(3):182-6. doi: 10.1038/nchem.1548. Epub 2013 Jan 20.


Four-stranded G-quadruplex nucleic acid structures are of great interest as their high thermodynamic stability under near-physiological conditions suggests that they could form in cells. Here we report the generation and application of an engineered, structure-specific antibody employed to quantitatively visualize DNA G-quadruplex structures in human cells. We show explicitly that G-quadruplex formation in DNA is modulated during cell-cycle progression and that endogenous G-quadruplex DNA structures can be stabilized by a small-molecule ligand. Together these findings provide substantive evidence for the formation of G-quadruplex structures in the genome of mammalian cells and corroborate the application of stabilizing ligands in a cellular context to target G-quadruplexes and intervene with their function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Neoplasms / genetics
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • G-Quadruplexes*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteosarcoma / genetics
  • Salmon
  • Spermatozoa / chemistry
  • Thermodynamics


  • DNA