The role of G-Quadruplex DNA in Paraspeckle formation in cancer

Uditi Bhatt, Amy L. Kretzmann, Aurore Guédin, Arnold Ou, Simon Kobelke, Charles S. Bond, Cameron W. Evans, Laurence H. Hurley, Jean Louis Mergny, K. Swaminathan Iyer, Archa H. Fox, Nicole M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Paraspeckles are RNA–protein structures within the nucleus of mammalian cells, capable of orchestrating various biochemical processes. An overexpression of the architectural component of paraspeckles, a long non-coding RNA called NEAT1 (Nuclear Enriched Abundant Transcript 1), has been linked to a variety of cancers and is often associated with poor patient prognosis. Thus, there is an accumulating interest in the role of paraspeckles in carcinogenesis, however there is a limited understanding of how NEAT1 expression is regulated. Here, we demonstrate that both nuclear G-quadruplex (G4) and paraspeckle formation are significantly increased in a human breast cancer cell line compared to non-tumorigenic breast cells. Moreover, we identified and characterized G4-forming sequences within the NEAT1 promoter and demonstrate stabilization of G4 DNA with a G4-stabilizing small molecule results in a significant alteration in both paraspeckle formation and NEAT1 expression. This G4-mediated alteration of NEAT1 at both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels was evident in U2OS osteosarcoma cells, MCF-7 breast adenocarcinoma and MDA-MB-231 triple negative breast cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-131
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Breast cancer
  • G-quadruplex
  • G-quartet
  • G-tetraplex
  • G4 DNA
  • NEAT1
  • NEAT1_2
  • Paraspeckles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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