Four-stranded G-quadruplex nucleic acid structures are of great interest as their high thermodynamic stability under near-physiological conditions suggests that they could form inside living cells. A group of scientists now reports the generation and application of an engineered, structure-specific antibody employed to quantitatively visualize DNA G-quadruplex structures in living human cells. The show explicitly that G-quadruplex formation in DNA is modulated during cell-cycle progression and that endogenous G-quadruplex DNA structures can be stabilized by a small-molecule ligand. Together these findings provide substantive evidence for the formation of G-quadruplex structures in the genome of mammalian cells and corroborate the application of stabilizing ligands in a cellular context to target G-quadruplexes and intervene with their function.
From these experiments, we now know that G-quandruplexes form in the DNA of human cells. If anybody had mentioned this earlier, they would probably be labelled as crazy. Maybe we could take this as a lesson and accept the fact that there are always new discoveries to be made in biology, as well as the nature of our reality. For all we know, our DNA could be multidimensional in nature? It could be 12 stranded DNA? Maybe we have yet to discover it? Maybe a majority of our DNA, and the biological functions it serves are largely undiscovered. Maybe some portions of our DNA have yet to be activated? The more we discover about our own biology, the better, as we are witnessing with the discovery of the G-quandruplex.