G-Quadruplexes: Prediction, Characterization, and Biological Application

Trends Biotechnol. 2017 Oct;35(10):997-1013. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.012. Epub 2017 Jul 26.


Guanine (G)-rich sequences in nucleic acids can assemble into G-quadruplex structures that involve G-quartets linked by loop nucleotides. The structural and topological diversity of G-quadruplexes have attracted great attention for decades. Recent methodological advances have advanced the identification and characterization of G-quadruplexes in vivo as well as in vitro, and at a much higher resolution and throughput, which has greatly expanded our current understanding of G-quadruplex structure and function. Accumulating knowledge about the structural properties of G-quadruplexes has helped to design and develop a repertoire of molecular and chemical tools for biological applications. This review highlights how these exciting methods and findings have opened new doors to investigate the potential functions and applications of G-quadruplexes in basic and applied biosciences.

Keywords: G-quadruplex; aptamer; biosensing; cell imaging; next-generation sequencing; nucleic acid structure.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Research / instrumentation
  • Biomedical Research / methods*
  • Biomedical Research / trends
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • G-Quadruplexes*
  • Humans