Chemical biology of non-canonical structures of nucleic acids for therapeutic applications
DNA forms not only the canonical duplex structure but also non-canonical structures. Most potential sequences that induce the formation of non-canonical structures are present in disease-related genes. Interestingly, biological reactions are inhibited or dysregulated by non-canonical structure formation in disease-related genes. To control biological reactions, methods for inducing the formation of non-canonical structures have been developed using small molecules and oligonucleotides. In this feature article, we review biological reactions such as replication, transcription, and reverse transcription controlled by non-canonical DNA structures formed by disease-related genes. Furthermore, we discuss recent studies aimed at developing methods for regulating these biological reactions using drugs targeting the DNA structure.