Quadruple-Helix DNA Found in Human Cells

In summary, this article provides strong evidence that G-quadruplexes do occur in cells and that these unusual structures may have important biological functions.
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AnTiFreeze3
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Here is the full article, just published today: http://phys.org/news/2013-01-quadruple-helix-dna-human-cells.html

The article makes it apparent that this discovery could be used to inhibit the reproduction of cancer cells. Does anyone know of any other uses that this discovery could lead to?
 
Biology news on Phys.org
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Thanks for the pdf paper, I wanted to watch it by myself.
 
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With all of the research - looking at DNA - how is it that the existence of g quadruplex structures in actual cells is just coming out now?
 
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Murdstone said:
With all of the research - looking at DNA - how is it that the existence of g quadruplex structures in actual cells is just coming out now?

G-quadruplex formation in cells has been studied in the past and this latest paper is not the first to show the existence of these structures in cells. As early as the 1960s researchers noticed that G-rich sequences form structures considerably different from other nucleic acids[/quote], although it wasn't until the late 1980s that researchers were able to define the G-quadrupex structures exactly. Of course, evidence for these structures only existed in biochemical experiments done outside of the cell. In the 2000s, however, researchers used the same strategy reported here (generating fluorescent antibodies against g-quadruplex structures) to directly image the presence of g-quadruplexes in cells (Schaffitzel et al. (2001) In vitro generated antibodies specific for telomeric guanine-quadruplex DNA react with Stylonychia lemnae macronuclei. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98: 8572. doi:10.1073/pnas.141229498). A number of other studies have provided indirect evidence for the existence of these structures as well.

The newest study in Nature Chemistry improves on the earlier methods, and the authors generate a better antibody capable of directly imaging the g-quadruplex structures in mamalian cells (which had not been accomplished before). This study helps to confirm the previous findings (which are still somewhat controversial), and provides a useful tool for studying how these g-quadruplex structures function inside the cell.
 

Related to Quadruple-Helix DNA Found in Human Cells

What is quadruple-helix DNA?

Quadruple-helix DNA, also known as G-quadruplex DNA, is a unique structure that forms when four strands of DNA come together to create a four-stranded helix. This structure is different from the traditional double-helix structure of DNA and is formed by the guanine (G) bases binding to each other in a specific way.

How was quadruple-helix DNA discovered in human cells?

Scientists first discovered quadruple-helix DNA in human cells in 2013 using a new imaging technique called "chromosome orientation fluorescence in situ hybridization" (CO-FISH). This technique allowed them to visualize and identify the presence of quadruple-helix DNA in specific regions of the chromosomes.

What is the significance of finding quadruple-helix DNA in human cells?

The discovery of quadruple-helix DNA in human cells has significant implications for our understanding of DNA structure and its role in cellular processes. It may also have implications for diseases such as cancer, as quadruple-helix DNA has been found to be more prevalent in cancer cells and may play a role in their growth and development.

Can quadruple-helix DNA be targeted for potential therapies?

Yes, researchers are currently studying the potential of targeting quadruple-helix DNA for therapies, particularly in cancer treatment. By disrupting the formation of quadruple-helix DNA, it may be possible to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and potentially develop new treatments.

Is quadruple-helix DNA found only in human cells?

No, quadruple-helix DNA has been found in a variety of organisms, including bacteria, plants, and other animals. However, its discovery in human cells is still relatively new and ongoing research is being conducted to better understand its role in human biology.

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