Author ORCID Identifier

Jacob B. Schimelman

Roger H. French

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Scientific Reports




Case School of Engineering


School of Medicine


DE-SC0008176; DE-SC0008068


U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering


Observed in the folds of guanine-rich oligonucleotides, non-canonical G-quadruplex structures are based on G-quartets formed by hydrogen bonding and cation-coordination of guanosines. In dilute 5′-guanosine monophosphate (GMP) solutions, G-quartets form by the self-assembly of four GMP nucleotides. We use x-ray diffraction to characterize the columnar liquid-crystalline mesophases in concentrated solutions of various model G-quadruplexes. We then probe the transitions between mesophases by varying the PEG solution osmotic pressure, thus mimicking in vivo molecular crowding conditions. Using the GMP-quadruplex, built by the stacking of G-quartets with no covalent linking between them, as the baseline, we report the liquid-crystalline phase behaviors of two other related G-quadruplexes: (i) the intramolecular parallel-stranded G-quadruplex formed by the 22-mer four-repeat human telomeric sequence AG3(TTAG3)3 and (ii) the intermolecular parallel-stranded G-quadruplex formed by the TG4T oligonucleotides. Finally, we compare the mesophases of the G-quadruplexes, under PEG-induced crowding conditions, with the corresponding mesophases of the canonical duplex and triplex DNA analogues.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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