Intramolecular and intermolecular guanine quadruplexes of DNA in aqueous salt and ethanol solutions
DNA guanine quadruplexes are all based on stacks of guanine tetrads, but they can be of many types differing by mutual strand orientation, topology, position and structure of loops, and the number of DNA molecules constituting their structure. Here we have studied a series of nine DNA fragments (G(3)X(n))(3)G(3), where X = A, C or T, and n = 1, 2 or 3, to find how the particular bases and their numbers enable folding of the molecule into quadruplex and what type of quadruplex is formed. We show that any single base between G(3) blocks gives rise to only four-molecular parallel-stranded quadruplexes in water solutions. In contrast to previous models, even two Ts in potential loops lead to tetramolecular parallel quadruplexes and only three consecutive Ts lead to an intramolecular quadruplex, which is antiparallel. Adenines make the DNA less prone to quadruplex formation. (G(3)A(2))(3)G(3) folds into an intramolecular antiparallel quadruplex. The same is true with (G(3)A(3))(3)G(3) but only in KCl. In NaCl or LiCl, (G(3)A(3))(3)G(3) prefers to generate homoduplexes. Cytosine still more interferes with the quadruplex, which only is generated by (G(3)C)(3)G(3), whereas (G(3)C(2))(3)G(3) and (G(3)C(3))(3)G(3) generate hairpins and/or homoduplexes. Ethanol is a more potent DNA guanine quadruplex inducer than are ions in water solutions. It promotes intramolecular folding and parallel orientation of quadruplex strands, which rather corresponds to quadruplex structures observed in crystals. (c) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.