The telomere ends of chromosomes are composed of the G-rich sequence (TTAGGG)n in either duplex or G-quadruplex structures. Oxidative damage to telomeres plays a role in telomere shortening and cellular senescence. The folded structure of G-quadruplexes leads to patterns of reactivity with cellular oxidants that reflects the stacking and solvent exposure of the guanines. In this work, we attempt to understand the influence of structure on the reactivity and product outcome of guanine oxidation leading to unfolding of the telomere.
Funding: NIH R01 CA090689
Collaborators: Susan Wallace (U. Vermont)