Organelle-mimicking liposome dissociates G-quadruplexes and facilitates transcription

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Important biological reactions involving nucleic acids occur near the surface of membranes such as the nuclear membrane (NM) and rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER); however, the interactions between biomembranes and nucleic acids are poorly understood. We report here that transcription was facilitated in solution with liposomes, which mimic a biomembrane surface, relative to the reaction in a homogeneous aqueous solution when the template was able to form a G-quadruplex. The G-quadruplex is known to be an inhibitor of transcription, but the stability of the G-quadruplex was decreased at the liposome surface because of unfavourable enthalpy. The destabilization of the G-quadruplex was greater at the surface of NM- and ER-mimicking liposomes than at the surfaces of liposomes designed to mimic other organelles. Thermodynamic analyses revealed that the G-rich oligonucleotides adopted an extended structure at the liposome surface, whereas in solution the compact G-quadruplex was formed. Our data suggest that changes in structure and stability of nucleic acids regulate biological reactions at membrane surfaces.




Pramanik, S., Tateishi-Karimata, H., & Sugimoto, N. (2014). Organelle-mimicking liposome dissociates G-quadruplexes and facilitates transcription. Nucleic Acids Research, 42(20), 12949–12959.

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