G-quadruplexes as tools for synthetic biology

Chembiochem. 2013 Nov 4;14(16):2077-81. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201300456. Epub 2013 Sep 17.


With the potential to engineer biological systems, synthetic biology is an emerging field that combines various disciplines of sciences. It encompasses combinations of DNA, RNA and protein modules for constructing desired systems and the "rewiring" of existing signalling networks. Despite recent advances, this field still lags behind in the artificial reconstruction of cellular processes, and thus demands new modules and switches to create "genetic circuits". The widely characterised noncanonical nucleic acid secondary structures, G-quadruplexes are promising candidates to be used as biological modules in synthetic biology. Structural plasticity and functional versatility are significant G-quadruplex traits for its integration into a biological system and for diverse applications in synthetic circuits.

Keywords: G-quadruplexes; ribozymes; synthetic biology; topology; zipcodes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA, Catalytic / metabolism
  • G-Quadruplexes*
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • RNA / chemistry
  • RNA / metabolism
  • Synthetic Biology*


  • DNA, Catalytic
  • RNA
  • DNA