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G-Quartets 40 Years Later: From 5′-GMP to Molecular Biology and Supramolecular Chemistry



Molecular self-assembly is central to many processes in both biology and supramolecular chemistry. The G-quartet, a hydrogen-bonded macrocycle formed by cation-templated assembly of guanosine, was first identified in 1962 as the basis for the aggregation of 5′-guanosine monophosphate. We now know that many nucleosides, oligonucleotides, and synthetic derivatives form a rich array of functional G-quartets. The G-quartet surfaces in areas ranging from structural biology and medicinal chemistry to supramolecular chemistry and nanotechnology. This Review integrates and summarizes knowledge gained from these different areas, with emphasis on G-quartet structure, function, and molecular recognition.