Real-time imaging of DNA G-quadruplexes
DNA sequences rich in guanine nucleotides form tetrameric structures known as G-quadruplexes with potential biological roles in telomere function and maintenance, replication and transcription. However, we lack the tools to visualise G-quadruplexes directly in live cells. To address this issue, the EU-funded PLIM-G4 project proposes to develop optical probes that interact with different DNA topologies and upon doing so, their emission lifetime changes in a topology-dependent manner. Optimisation of the properties of these probes will enable the real-time imaging of G-quadruplexes in live cells, allowing to unveil novel information on the role and the dynamics of G-quadruplexes in biological processes.