G-quadruplexes incorporating modified constituents: a review

J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2014;32(3):477-511. doi: 10.1080/07391102.2013.775074. Epub 2013 Mar 25.


This review summarizes the results of structural studies carried out with analogs of G-quadruplexes built from natural nucleotides. Several dozens of base-, sugar-, and phosphate derivatives of the biological building blocks have been incorporated into more than 50 potentially quadruplex forming DNA and RNA oligonucleotides and the stability and folding topology of the resultant intramolecular, bimolecular and tetramolecular architectures characterized. The TG4T, TG5T, the 15 nucleotide-long thrombin binding aptamer, and the human telomere repeat AG3(TTAG3)3 sequences were modified in most cases, and four guanine analogs can be noted as being particularly useful in structural studies. These are the fluorescent 2-aminopurine, the 8-bromo-, and 8-methylguanines, and the hypoxanthine. The latter three analogs stabilize a given fold in a mixture of structures making possible accurate structural determinations by circular dichroism and nuclear magnetic resonance measurements.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA / chemistry*
  • DNA / genetics
  • G-Quadruplexes*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Mutation
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Oligonucleotides / chemistry*
  • Oligonucleotides / genetics
  • RNA / chemistry*
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA Folding


  • Oligonucleotides
  • RNA
  • DNA