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Journal of Nucleic Acids
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 564946, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2010/564946
Review Article

A Toolbox for Predicting G-Quadruplex Formation and Stability

1Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK
2Max-Planck-Institutes Tübingen, Spemanstraßse 38, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
3Thaze Ltd, 121 Mowbray Road, Cambridge CB1 7SP, UK

Received 1 February 2010; Accepted 24 March 2010

Academic Editor: Jean Louis Mergny

Copyright © 2010 Han Min Wong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

G-quadruplexes are four stranded nucleic acid structures formed around a core of guanines, arranged in squares with mutual hydrogen bonding. Many of these structures are highly thermally stable, especially in the presence of monovalent cations, such as those found under physiological conditions. Understanding of their physiological roles is expanding rapidly, and they have been implicated in regulating gene transcription and translation among other functions. We have built a community-focused website to act as a repository for the information that is now being developed. At its core, this site has a detailed database (QuadDB) of predicted G-quadruplexes in the human and other genomes, together with the predictive algorithm used to identify them. We also provide a QuadPredict server, which predicts thermal stability and acts as a repository for experimental data from all researchers. There are also a number of other data sources with computational predictions. We anticipate that the wide availability of this information will be of use both to researchers already active in this exciting field and to those who wish to investigate a particular gene hypothesis.