3 years ago

Quantification of Chemical and Mechanical Effects on the Formation of the G-Quadruplex and i-Motif in Duplex DNA

Quantification of Chemical and Mechanical Effects on the Formation of the G-Quadruplex and i-Motif in Duplex DNA
Hanbin Mao, Shankar Mandal, Sangeetha Selvam
The formation of biologically significant tetraplex DNA species, such as G-quadruplexes and i-motifs, is affected by chemical (ions and pH) and mechanical [superhelicity (σ) and molecular crowding] factors. Because of the extremely challenging experimental conditions, the relative importance of these factors on tetraplex folding is unknown. In this work, we quantitatively evaluated the chemical and mechanical effects on the population dynamics of DNA tetraplexes in the insulin-linked polymorphic region using magneto-optical tweezers. By mechanically unfolding individual tetraplexes, we found that ions and pH have the largest effects on the formation of the G-quadruplex and i-motif, respectively. Interestingly, superhelicity has the second largest effect followed by molecular crowding conditions. While chemical effects are specific to tetraplex species, mechanical factors have generic influences. The predominant effect of chemical factors can be attributed to the fact that they directly change the stability of a specific tetraplex, whereas the mechanical factors, superhelicity in particular, reduce the stability of the competing species by changing the kinetics of the melting and annealing of the duplex DNA template in a nonspecific manner. The substantial dependence of tetraplexes on superhelicity provides strong support that DNA tetraplexes can serve as topological sensors to modulate fundamental cellular processes such as transcription.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00279

DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00279

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