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    Publication Date: 2018-02-17
    Description: Triplexes are noncanonical DNA structures, which are functionally associated with regulation of gene expression through ncRNA targeting to chromatin. Based on the rules of Hoogsteen base-pairing, polypurine sequences of a duplex can potentially form triplex structures with single-stranded oligonucleotides. Prediction of triplex-forming sequences by bioinformatics analyses have revealed enrichment of potential triplex targeting sites (TTS) at regulatory elements, mainly in promoters and enhancers, suggesting a potential function of RNA–DNA triplexes in transcriptional regulation. Here, we have quantitatively evaluated the potential of different sequences of human and mouse ribosomal RNA genes ( rDNA ) to form triplexes at different salt and pH conditions. We show by biochemical and biophysical approaches that some of these predicted sequences form triplexes with high affinity, following the canonical rules for triplex formation. We further show that RNA triplex-forming oligos (TFOs) are more stable than their DNA counterpart, and point mutations strongly affect triplex formation. We further show differential sequence requirements of pyrimidine and purine TFO sequences for efficient binding, depending on the G–C content of the TTS. The unexpected sequence specificity, revealing distinct sequence requirements for purine and pyrimidine TFOs, shows that in addition to the Hoogsteen pairing rules, a sequence code and mutations have to be taken into account to predict genomic TTS.
    Print ISSN: 1355-8382
    Electronic ISSN: 1469-9001
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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