Solution structure of a G-quadruplex bound to the bisquinolinium compound Phen-DC(3)

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2014 Jan 20;53(4):999-1002. doi: 10.1002/anie.201308063. Epub 2013 Dec 16.


Phen-DC3 is a highly promising compound that specifically targets G-quadruplexes, with potent biological effects observed in vivo. We used NMR spectroscopy to solve the structure of the complex formed between Phen-DC3 and an intramolecular G-quadruplex derived from the c-myc promoter. Structural information revealed that Phen-DC3 interacts with the quadruplex through extensive π-stacking with guanine bases of the top G-tetrad. On the basis of our structure, modifications are proposed for the development of this compound for selective targeting of a specific G-quadruplex conformation.

Keywords: G-quadruplex DNA; NMR spectroscopy; bisquinolinium ligands; drug design; π interactions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • G-Quadruplexes*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Structure
  • Quinolinium Compounds / chemistry*
  • Solutions


  • Quinolinium Compounds
  • Solutions
  • DNA