DNA and Chromosomes
- In addition to unwinding double-stranded nucleic acids, helicase activity can also unfold noncanonical structures such as G-quadruplexes. We previously characterized Pif1 helicase catalyzed unfolding of parallel G-quadruplex DNA. Here we characterized unfolding of the telomeric G-quadruplex, which can fold into antiparallel and mixed hybrid structures and found significant differences. Telomeric DNA sequences are unfolded more readily than the parallel quadruplex formed by the c-MYC promoter in K+.
- Cells engage numerous signaling pathways in response to oxidative stress that together repair macromolecular damage or direct the cell toward apoptosis. As a result of DNA damage, mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA has been shown to enter the cytoplasm where it binds to “DNA sensors,” which in turn initiate signaling cascades. Here we report data that support a novel signaling pathway in response to oxidative stress mediated by specific guanine-rich sequences that can fold into G-quadruplex DNA (G4DNA).