Triplex DNA and human disease

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Nephrology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA.
Frontiers in Bioscience (Impact Factor: 3.52). 02/2007; 12(12):4536-46. DOI: 10.2741/2408
Source: PubMed


Mutagenesis is the fulcrum for the balance between the fidelity of the genetic code and evolution. While there are an enormous number of extrinsic factors driving mutagenesis, alternative DNA secondary structure is one of the intrinsic components that impacts regional genomic stability. Some alternative DNA structures are associated with human diseases, and this review focuses on disease-associated polypurine polypyrimidine mirror repeat sequences.

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Available from: John J Bissler
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    • "Importantly, 86.5% of known human and 83% of the known mouse genes have at least one motif that is unique to that gene (18). It has been described that triplex structures may play a role in many processes, such as recombination and destabilization of chromosomal DNA (19,20), induction of repair and mutation (19,21–24) or regulation of replication and transcription (19,23,25,26). In addition, it has been recently observed that formation of triplexes can constitute a main mechanism in epigenetic regulation pathways (27) and they might be crucial for ncRNAs to carry-out their regulatory function (28,29). "
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    ABSTRACT: A novel biosensing approach for the label-free detection of nucleic acid sequences of short and large lengths has been implemented, with special emphasis on targeting RNA sequences with secondary structures. The approach is based on selecting 8-aminoadenine-modified parallel-stranded DNA tail-clamps as affinity bioreceptors. These receptors have the ability of creating a stable triplex-stranded helix at neutral pH upon hybridization with the nucleic acid target. A surface plasmon resonance biosensor has been used for the detection. With this strategy, we have detected short DNA sequences (32-mer) and purified RNA (103-mer) at the femtomol level in a few minutes in an easy and level-free way. This approach is particularly suitable for the detection of RNA molecules with predicted secondary structures, reaching a limit of detection of 50 fmol without any label or amplification steps. Our methodology has shown a marked enhancement for the detection (18% for short DNA and 54% for RNA), when compared with the conventional duplex approach, highlighting the large difficulty of the duplex approach to detect nucleic acid sequences, especially those exhibiting stable secondary structures. We believe that our strategy could be of great interest to the RNA field.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Nucleic Acids Research
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    ABSTRACT: Previous evidence has shown that the simple sequences microsatellites and poly-purine/poly-pyrimidine tracts (PPTs) could be both a cause, and an effect, of meiotic recombination. The causal link between simple sequences and recombination has not been much explored, however, probably because other evidence has cast doubt on its generality, though this evidence has never been conclusive. Several questions have remained unanswered in the literature, and I have addressed aspects of three of them in my thesis. First, what is the scale and magnitude of the association between simple sequences and recombination? I found that microsatellites and PPTs are strongly associated with meiotic double-strand break (DSB) hotspots in yeast, and that PPTs are generally more common in human recombination hotspots, particularly in close proximity to hotspot central regions, in which recombination events are markedly more frequent. I also showed that these associations can't be explained by coincidental mutual associations between simple sequences, recombination and other factors previously shown to correlate with both. A second question not conclusively answered in the literature is whether simple sequences, or their high levels of polymorphism, are an effect of recombination. I used three methods to address this question. Firstly, I investigated the distributions of two-copy tandem repeats and short PPTs in relation to yeast DSB hotspots in order to look for evidence of an involvement of recombination in simple sequence formation. I found no significant associations. Secondly, I compared the fraction of simple sequences containing polymorphic sites between human recombination hotspots and coldspots. The third method I used was generalized linear model analysis, with which I investigated the correlation between simple sequence variation and recombination rate, and the influence on the correlation of additional factors with potential relevance including GC-content and gene density. Both the direct comparison and correlation methods showed a very weak and inconsistent effect of recombination on simple sequence polymorphism in the human genome.Whether simple sequences are an important cause of recombination events is a third question that has received relatively little previous attention, and I have explored one aspect of it. Simple sequences of the types I studied have previously been shown to form non-B-DNA structures, which can be recombinagenic in model systems. Using a previously described sodium bisulphite modification assay, I tested for the presence of these structures in sequences amplified from the central regions of hotspots and cloned into supercoiled plasmids. I found significantly higher sensitivity to sodium bisulphite in humans in than in chimpanzees in three out of six genomic regions in which there is a hotspot in humans but none in chimpanzees. In the DNA2 hotspot, this correlated with a clear difference in numbers of molecules showing long contiguous strings of converted cytosines, which are present in previously described intramolecular quadruplex and triplex structures. Two out of the five other hotspots tested show evidence for secondary structure comparable to a known intramolecular triplex, though with similar patterns in humans and chimpanzees. In conclusion, my results clearly motivate further investigation of a functional link between simple sequences and meiotic recombination, including the putative role of non-B-DNA structures.
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    ABSTRACT: DNA structure is a critical element in determining its function. The DNA molecule is capable of adopting a variety of non-canonical structures, including three-stranded (i.e. triplex) structures, which will be the focus of this review. The ability to selectively modulate the activity of genes is a long-standing goal in molecular medicine. DNA triplex structures, either intermolecular triplexes formed by binding of an exogenously applied oligonucleotide to a target duplex sequence, or naturally occurring intramolecular triplexes (H-DNA) formed at endogenous mirror repeat sequences, present exploitable features that permit site-specific alteration of the genome. These structures can induce transcriptional repression and site-specific mutagenesis or recombination. Triplex-forming oligonucleotides (TFOs) can bind to duplex DNA in a sequence-specific fashion with high affinity, and can be used to direct DNA-modifying agents to selected sequences. H-DNA plays important roles in vivo and is inherently mutagenic and recombinogenic, such that elements of the H-DNA structure may be pharmacologically exploitable. In this review we discuss the biological consequences and therapeutic potential of triple helical DNA structures. We anticipate that the information provided will stimulate further investigations aimed toward improving DNA triplex-related gene targeting strategies for biotechnological and potential clinical applications.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2008 · Biochimie
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