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Keywords:

  • 8-oxoguanine;
  • circular dichroism;
  • folding topology;
  • G-quadruplex;
  • thermodynamic stability

8-Oxoguanine is a ubiquitous oxidative base lesion. We report here on the effect of this lesion on the structure and stability of quadruplexes formed by the human telomeric DNA sequence 5′-dG3(TTAG3)3 in NaCl and KCl. CD, PAGE and absorption-based thermodynamic stability data showed that replacement of any of the tetrad-forming guanines by 8-oxoguanine did not hinder the formation of monomolecular, antiparallel quadruplexes in NaCl. The modified quadruplexes were, however, destabilized in both salts, the extent of this depending on the position of the lesion. These results and the results of previous studies on guanine-to-adenine exchanges and guanine abasic lesions in the same quadruplex show a noticeable trend: it is not the type of the lesion but the position of the modification that determines the effect on the conformation and stability of the quadruplex. The type of lesion only governs the extent of changes, such as of destabilization. Most sensitive sites were found in the middle tetrad of the three-tetrad quadruplex, and the smallest alterations were observed if guanines of the terminal tetrad with the diagonal TTA loop were substituted, although even these substitutions brought about unfavorable enthalpic changes. Interestingly, the majority of these base-modified quadruplexes did not adopt the rearranged folding induced in the unmodified dG3(TTAG3)3 by potassium ions, an observation that could imply biological relevance of the results.