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Interactions of small molecules with DNA junctions

McQuaid, K. T. ORCID:, Pipier, A., Cardin, C. J. ORCID: and Monchaud, D. ORCID: (2022) Interactions of small molecules with DNA junctions. Nucleic Acids Research, 50 (22). pp. 12636-12656. ISSN 1362-4962

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkac1043


The four natural DNA bases (A, T, G and C) associate in base pairs (A=T and G≡C), allowing the attached DNA strands to assemble into the canonical double helix of DNA (or duplex-DNA, also known as B-DNA). The intrinsic supramolecular properties of nucleobases make other associations possible (such as base triplets or quartets), which thus translates into a diversity of DNA structures beyond B-DNA. To date, the alphabet of DNA structures is ripe with approximately 20 letters (from A- to Z-DNA); however, only a few of them are being considered as key players in cell biology and, by extension, valuable targets for chemical biology intervention. In the present review, we summarise what is known about alternative DNA structures (what are they? When, where and how do they fold?) and proceed to discuss further about those considered nowadays as valuable therapeutic targets. We discuss in more detail the molecular tools (ligands) that have been recently developed to target these structures, particularly the three- and four-way DNA junctions, in order to intervene in the biological processes where they are involved. This new and stimulating chemical biology playground allows for devising innovative strategies to fight against genetic diseases.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:109829
Uncontrolled Keywords:Genetics
Additional Information:A correction to this article was published on 9/12/22 and is available here
Publisher:Oxford University Press


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