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RNA Quadruplexes

Opposed to DNA quadruplex sequences, RNA quadruplexes are still less well characterized. On the other hand, RNA quadruplexes are found to be at least as stable as their DNA counterparts. They show the same dependence on metal ions but seem to be much more restricted with respect to the adopted conformations. Other than DNA, which is mostly found to be double-stranded inside cells, RNAs are produced during transcription without its complementary sequence. The absence of a second strand that is able to hybridize and form a duplex makes the folding of RNA quadruplexes a likely event of intramolecular structure formation. Consequently, the formation of RNA quadruplexes in cellular RNAs has recently been suggested and the study of their influence and potential roles in cellular processes has just started. Here we give an overview of the RNA quadruplex field, summarizing issues such as structures, stabilities, and anticipated roles of these interesting four-stranded, guanosine-rich sequences.

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06 Apr 2011
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From the book series:
Metal Ions in Life Sciences