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Issue 7, 2012
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Identifying G-quadruplex-binding ligands using DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticles

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The G-rich overhang of human telomere tends to form a G-quadruplex structure, and G-quadruplex formation can effectively inhibit telomerase activity in most cancer cells. Therefore, it is important to identify the formation and properties of the G-quadruplex, with the particular aim of selecting G-quadruplex-binding ligands that could potentially lead to the development of anticancer therapeutic agents. With this goal in mind, we report a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) assay system for the identification of G-quadruplex ligands using DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticles (DNA-GNPs) as the fluorescence quencher and a carboxyfluorescein (FAM)-tagged human telomeric sequence (F-GDNA) as the recognition probe. A thiolated complementary strand of human telomeric DNA (cDNA), which first adheres to the surface of the GNPs and then hybridizes with F-GDNA, results in the fluorescence quenching of F-GDNA by the GNPs. However, fluorescence is restored when single-stranded F-GDNA folds into a G-quadruplex structure upon the binding of quadruplex ligands, leading to the release of F-GDNA from the surface of the GNPs. Combined data from fluorescence measurements and CD spectroscopy indicated that ligands selected by this FRET method could induce GDNA to form a G-quadruplex. Therefore, this FRET G-quadruplex assay is a simple and effective approach to identify quadruplex-binding ligands, and, as such, it promises to provide a solid foundation for the development of novel anticancer therapeutic agents.

Graphical abstract: Identifying G-quadruplex-binding ligands using DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticles

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Nov 2011, accepted on 13 Jan 2012 and first published on 14 Feb 2012

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2AN16051J
Citation: Analyst, 2012,137, 1663-1668
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    Identifying G-quadruplex-binding ligands using DNA-functionalized gold nanoparticles

    Y. Qiao, J. Deng, Y. Jin, G. Chen and L. Wang, Analyst, 2012, 137, 1663
    DOI: 10.1039/C2AN16051J

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