Telomeric repeat-containing RNA, a non-coding RNA molecule, has recently been found in mammalian cells. The detailed structural features and functions of the telomeric RNA at human chromosome ends remain unclear, although this RNA molecule may be a key component of the telomere machinery. In this study, using model human telomeric DNA and RNA sequences, we demonstrated that human telomeric RNA and DNA oligonucleotides form a DNA-RNA G-quadruplex. We next employed chemistry-based oligonucleotide probes to mimic the naturally formed telomeric DNA-RNA G-quadruplexes in living cells, suggesting that the process of DNA-RNA G-quadruplex formation with oligonucleotide models of telomeric DNA and RNA could occur in cells. Furthermore, we investigated the possible roles of this DNA-RNA G-quadruplex. The formation of the DNA-RNA G-quadruplex causes a significant increase in the clonogenic capacity of cells and has an effect on inhibition of cellular senescence. Here, we have used a model system to provide evidence about the formation of G-quadruplex structures involving telomeric DNA and RNA sequences that have the potential to provide a protective capping structure for telomere ends.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology