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Issue 12, 2011
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Conformational changes of non-B DNA

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In contrast to B-DNA that has a right-handed double helical structure with Watson–Crick base pairing under the ordinary physiological conditions, repetitive DNA sequences under certain conditions have the potential to fold into non-B DNA structures such as hairpin, triplex, cruciform, left-handed Z-form, tetraplex, A-motif, etc. Since the non-B DNA-forming sequences induce the genetic instability and consequently can cause human diseases, the molecular mechanism for their genetic instability has been extensively investigated. On the contrary, non-B DNA can be widely used for application in biotechnology because many DNA breakage hotspots are mapped in or near the sequences that have the potential to adopt non-B DNA structures. In addition, they are regarded as a fascinating material for the nanotechnology using non-B DNAs because they do not produce any toxic byproducts and are robust enough for the repetitive working cycle. This being the case, an understanding on the mechanism and dynamics of their structural changes is important. In this critical review, we describe the latest studies on the conformational dynamics of non-B DNAs, with a focus on G-quadruplex, i-motif, Z-DNA, A-motif, hairpin and triplex (189 references).

Graphical abstract: Conformational changes of non-B DNA

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Jun 2011 and first published on 07 Sep 2011

Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15153C
Citation: Chem. Soc. Rev., 2011,40, 5893-5909
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    Conformational changes of non-B DNA

    J. Choi and T. Majima, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2011, 40, 5893
    DOI: 10.1039/C1CS15153C

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