General Cell-Binding Activity of Intramolecular G-Quadruplexes with Parallel Structure

Chang, Tianjun; Qi, Cui; Meng, Jie; Zhang, Nan; Bing, Tao; Yang, Xianda; Cao, Zehui; Shangguan, Dihua
April 2013
PLoS ONE;Apr2013, Vol. 8 Issue 4, p1
Academic Journal
: G-quadruplexes (G4s) are four-stranded nucleic acid structures adopted by some repetitive guanine-rich sequences. Putative G-quadruplex-forming sequences (PQSs) are highly prevalent in human genome. Recently some G4s have been reported to have cancer-selective antiproliferative activity. A G4 DNA, AS1411, is currently in phase II clinical trials as an anticancer agent, which is reported to bind tumor cells by targeting surface nucleolin. AS1411 also has been extensively investigated as a target-recognition element for cancer cell specific drug delivery or cancer cell imaging. Here we show that, in addition to AS1411, intramolecular G4s with parallel structure (including PQSs in genes) have general binding activity to many cell lines with different affinity. The binding of these G4s compete with each other, and their targets are certain cellular surface proteins. The tested G4s exhibit enhanced cellular uptake than non-G4 sequences. This uptake may be through the endosome/lysosome pathway, but it is independent of cellular binding of the G4s. The tested G4s also show selective antiproliferative activity that is independent of their cellular binding. Our findings provide new insight into the molecular recognition of G4s by cells; offer new clues for understanding the functions of G4s in vivo, and may extend the potential applications of G4s.


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