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G-Quadruplex-Based Fluorescent Turn-On Ligands and Aptamers: From Development to Applications

Department of Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong SAR, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Sara N. Richter
Molecules 2019, 24(13), 2416; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24132416
Received: 27 April 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 24 June 2019 / Published: 30 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue G-quadruplex and Microorganisms)
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Abstract

Guanine (G)-quadruplexes (G4s) are unique nucleic acid structures that are formed by stacked G-tetrads in G-rich DNA or RNA sequences. G4s have been reported to play significant roles in various cellular events in both macro- and micro-organisms. The identification and characterization of G4s can help to understand their different biological roles and potential applications in diagnosis and therapy. In addition to biophysical and biochemical methods to interrogate G4 formation, G4 fluorescent turn-on ligands can be used to target and visualize G4 formation both in vitro and in cells. Here, we review several representative classes of G4 fluorescent turn-on ligands in terms of their interaction mechanism and application perspectives. Interestingly, G4 structures are commonly identified in DNA and RNA aptamers against targets that include proteins and small molecules, which can be utilized as G4 tools for diverse applications. We therefore also summarize the recent development of G4-containing aptamers and highlight their applications in biosensing, bioimaging, and therapy. Moreover, we discuss the current challenges and future perspectives of G4 fluorescent turn-on ligands and G4-containing aptamers. View Full-Text
Keywords: nucleic acids; G-quadruplex; aptamers; turn-on ligands; fluorescence; microbes nucleic acids; G-quadruplex; aptamers; turn-on ligands; fluorescence; microbes
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Umar, M.I.; Ji, D.; Chan, C.-Y.; Kwok, C.K. G-Quadruplex-Based Fluorescent Turn-On Ligands and Aptamers: From Development to Applications. Molecules 2019, 24, 2416.

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