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Journal Articles Nucleic Acids Research Year : 2022

Interactions of small molecules with DNA junctions

Kane T Mcquaid
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Angélique Pipier
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Christine J Cardin
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  • PersonId : 1159034


Abstract The four natural DNA bases (A, T, G and C) associate in base pairs (A = C and G≡C), allowing the attached DNA strands to assemble into the canonical double helix of DNA (or duplex-DNA, also known as B-DNA). The intrinsic supramolecular properties of nucleobases make other associations possible (such as base triplets or quartets), which thus translates into a diversity of DNA structures beyond B-DNA. To date, the alphabet of DNA structures is ripe with approximately 20 letters (from A- to Z-DNA); however, only a few of them are being considered as key players in cell biology and, by extension, valuable targets for chemical biology intervention. In the present review, we summarise what is known about alternative DNA structures (what are they? When, where and how do they fold?) and proceed to discuss further about those considered nowadays as valuable therapeutic targets. We discuss in more detail the molecular tools (ligands) that have been recently developed to target these structures, particularly the three- and four-way DNA junctions, in order to intervene in the biological processes where they are involved. This new and stimulating chemical biology playground allows for devising innovative strategies to fight against genetic diseases.
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Dates and versions

hal-03855128 , version 1 (16-11-2022)
hal-03855128 , version 2 (17-01-2023)



Kane T Mcquaid, Angélique Pipier, Christine J Cardin, David Monchaud. Interactions of small molecules with DNA junctions. Nucleic Acids Research, 2022, 50 (22), pp.12636-12656. ⟨10.1093/nar/gkac1043⟩. ⟨hal-03855128v2⟩
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