DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkad1209 ISSN: 0305-1048

BG4 antibody can recognize telomeric G-quadruplexes harboring destabilizing base modifications and lesions

Samuel A Johnson, Tapas Paul, Samantha L Sanford, Brittani L Schnable, Ariana C Detwiler, Sanjana A Thosar, Bennett Van Houten, Sua Myong, Patricia L Opresko
  • Genetics


BG4 is a single-chain variable fragment antibody shown to bind various G-quadruplex (GQ) topologies with high affinity and specificity, and to detect GQ in cells, including GQ structures formed within telomeric TTAGGG repeats. Here, we used ELISA and single-molecule pull-down (SiMPull) detection to test how various lengths and GQ destabilizing base modifications in telomeric DNA constructs alter BG4 binding. We observed high-affinity BG4 binding to telomeric GQ independent of telomere length, although three telomeric repeat constructs that cannot form stable intramolecular GQ showed reduced affinity. A single guanine substitution with 8-aza-7-deaza-G, T, A, or C reduced affinity to varying degrees depending on the location and base type, whereas two G substitutions in the telomeric construct dramatically reduced or abolished binding. Substitution with damaged bases 8-oxoguanine and O6-methylguanine failed to prevent BG4 binding although affinity was reduced depending on lesion location. SiMPull combined with FRET revealed that BG4 binding promotes folding of telomeric GQ harboring a G to T substitution or 8-oxoguanine. Atomic force microscopy revealed that BG4 binds telomeric GQ with a 1:1 stoichiometry. Collectively, our data suggest that BG4 can recognize partially folded telomeric GQ structures and promote telomeric GQ stability.

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