The importance of negative superhelicity in inducing the formation of G-quadruplex and i-motif structures in the c-Myc promoter: Implications for drug targeting and control of gene expression

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227 Scopus citations

Abstract

The importance of DNA supercoiling in transcriptional regulation has been known for many years, and more recently, transcription itself has been shown to be a source of this superhelicity. To mimic the effect of transcriptionally induced negative superhelicity, the G-quadruplex/i-motif-forming region in the c-Myc promoter was incorporated into a supercoiled plasmid. We show, using enzymatic and chemical footprinting, that negative superhelicity facilitates the formation of secondary DNA structures under physiological conditions. Significantly, these structures are not the same as those formed in single-stranded DNA templates. Together with the recently demonstrated role of transcriptionally induced superhelicity in maintaining a mechanosensor mechanism for controlling the firing rate of the c-Myc promoter, we provide a more complete picture of how c-Myc transcription is likely controlled. Last, these physiologically relevant G-quadruplex and i-motif structures, along with the mechanosensor mechanism for control of gene expression, are proposed as novel mechanisms for small molecule targeting of transcriptional control of c-Myc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2863-2874
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Volume52
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 14 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery

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