Unusual topological RNA G-quadruplex formed by an RNA duplex: implications for the dimerization of SARS-CoV-2 RNA

Chem Commun (Camb). 2023 Oct 24;59(85):12703-12706. doi: 10.1039/d3cc03192f.


The infectious disease coronavirus 2019 (SARS-CoV-2) is caused by a virus that has RNA as its genetic material. To understand the detailed structural features of SARS-COV-2 RNA, we probed the RNA structure by NMR. Two RNA sequences form a duplex and self-associate to form a dimeric G-quadruplex. The FrG nucleoside was employed as a 19F sensor to confirm the RNA structure in cells by 19F NMR. A FRET assay further demonstrated that the dimeric G-quadruplex resulted in RNA dimerization in cells. These results provide the basis for the elucidation of SARS-COV-2 RNA function, which provides new insights into developing novel antiviral drugs against SARS-COV-2.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Dimerization
  • G-Quadruplexes*
  • Humans
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • RNA, Viral