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G‐Quadruplexes as Key Transcriptional Regulators in Neglected Trypanosomatid Parasites

Von Wiley-VCH zur Verfügung gestellt

In this concept article, we discuss the potential roles of DNA G-quadruplexes (G4s) secondart structures, in modulating the transcriptional control of neglected trypanosomatid parasites, which cause deadly diseases in the poorest populations worldwide. We provide an overview of experimental approaches that can be used to exploit the regulatory roles and relevance of G4s to fight parasitic infections.


Abstract

G-quadruplexes (G4s) are nucleic acid secondary structures that have been linked to the functional regulation of eukaryotic organisms. G4s have been extensively characterised in humans and emerging evidence suggests that they might also be biologically relevant for human pathogens. This indicates that G4s might represent a novel class of therapeutic targets for tackling infectious diseases. Bioinformatic studies revealed a high prevalence of putative quadruplex-forming sequences (PQSs) in the genome of protozoans, which highlights their potential roles in regulating vital processes of these parasites, including DNA transcription and replication. In this work, we focus on the neglected trypanosomatid parasites, Trypanosoma and Leishmania spp., which cause debilitating and deadly diseases across the poorest populations worldwide. We review three examples where G4-formation might be key to modulate transcriptional activity in trypanosomatids, providing an overview of experimental approaches that can be used to exploit the regulatory roles and relevance of these structures to fight parasitic infections.

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