Over the decades, oxidative stress has emerged as a major concern to biological researchers. It is involved in the pathogenesis of various lifestyle-related diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases. The connection between oxidative stress and telomere shortening via oxidative guanine lesion is well documented. Telomeres are confined to guanine rich ends of chromosomes. Owing to its self-association properties, it adopts G-quadruplex structures and hampers the overexpression of telomerase in the cancer cells. Guanine, being the most oxidation prone nucleobase, when structured in G-quadruplex entity, is found to respond peculiarly towards oxidative stress. Interestingly, this non-Watson–Crick structural feature exists abundantly in promoters of various oncogenes, exons and other genomic locations. The involvement of G-quadruplex architecture in oncogene promoters is well recognized in gene regulation processes. Development of small molecules aimed to target G-quadruplex structures, have found to alter the overexpression of oncogenes. The interaction may lead to the obstruction of diseased cell having elevated level of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Thus, presence of short guanine tracts (Gn) forming G-quadruplexes suggests its critical role in oxidative genome damage. Present review is a modest attempt to gain insight on the association of oxidative stress and G-quadruplexes, in various biological processes.
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