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Issue 3, 2010
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Formation of i-motif structure at neutral and slightly alkaline pH

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Abstract

It is well known that oligonucleotides containing tracts cytosines can form i-motif structures under acidic conditions (pH < 7). However, whether i-motif can be formed under normal physiological cellular conditions (pH 7.0–7.5) is yet no conclusive proof. In the present work, using circular dichroism (CD), UV absorption spectroscopies and native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE), we provided the compelling evidence for the formation of i-motif structures by four cytosine clusters, [C3TA2]3C3 (HT), [C4G]3C4TA (RET), C2T3C2T4C2T3C2 (CTC) and GC2GC3A4C6G (Rb), at neutral and slightly alkaline pH at 4 °C. Furthermore, for HT, we also supplied the evidence for the formation of i-motif structure by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and investigated its folding kinetics. The formation time constants obtained by CD and fluorescence experiments are 214 and 493 s, respectively, indicating that HT can slowly form i-motif structure at pH 7.0 and 4 °C. This work implies that i-motif structures may possible form in vivo.

Graphical abstract: Formation of i-motif structure at neutral and slightly alkaline pH

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Sep 2009, accepted on 04 Nov 2009 and first published on 14 Dec 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B919600E
Citation: Mol. BioSyst., 2010,6, 580-586

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    Formation of i-motif structure at neutral and slightly alkaline pH

    J. Zhou, C. Wei, G. Jia, X. Wang, Z. Feng and C. Li, Mol. BioSyst., 2010, 6, 580
    DOI: 10.1039/B919600E

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