Direct and single-molecule visualization of the solution-state structures of G-hairpin and G-triplex intermediates

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2014 Apr 14;53(16):4107-12. doi: 10.1002/anie.201308903. Epub 2014 Mar 12.


We present the direct and single-molecule visualization of the in-pathway intermediates of the G-quadruplex folding that have been inaccessible by any experimental method employed to date. Using DNA origami as a novel tool for the structural control and high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) for direct visualization, we captured images of the unprecedented solution-state structures of a tetramolecular antiparallel and (3+1)-type G-quadruplex intermediates, such as G-hairpin and G-triplex, with nanometer precision. No such structural information was reported previously with any direct or indirect technique, solution or solid-state, single-molecule or bulk studies, and at any resolution. Based on our results, we proposed a folding mechanism of these G-quadruplexes.

Keywords: DNA origami; G-hairpin; G-quadruplex; G-triplex; atomic force microscopy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA / chemistry*
  • G-Quadruplexes*
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force / methods*
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation


  • DNA