Non-Canonical G-quadruplexes cause the hCEB1 minisatellite instability in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Nicolas, Alain G
Date of Issue2017
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
G-quadruplexes (G4) are polymorphic four-stranded structures formed by certain G-rich nucleic acids in vitro, but the sequence and structural features dictating their formation and function in vivo remains uncertain. Here we report a structure-function analysis of the complex hCEB1 G4-forming sequence. We isolated four G4 conformations in vitro, all of which bear unusual structural features: Form 1 bears a V-shaped loop and a snapback guanine; Form 2 contains a terminal G-triad; Form 3 bears a zero-nucleotide loop; and Form 4 is a zero-nucleotide loop monomer or an interlocked dimer. In vivo, Form 1 and Form 2 differently account for 2/3rd of the genomic instability of hCEB1 in two G4-stabilizing conditions. Form 3 and an unidentified form contribute to the remaining instability, while Form 4 has no detectable effect. This work underscores the structural polymorphisms originated from a single highly G-rich sequence and demonstrates the existence of non-canonical G4s in cells, thus broadening the definition of G4-forming sequences.
© 2017 Piazza et al (Published by eLife Sciences Publications). This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.