Interplay of three G‑quadruplex units in the KIT promoter

Alessio Terenzi, Björn Högberg, Cosimo Ducani, Alessio Terenzi, Bernhard K. Keppler, Giulio Bernardinelli

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

10 Citazioni (Scopus)


The proto-oncogene KIT encodes for a tyrosine kinase receptor, which is a clinically validated target for treating gastrointestinal stromal tumors. The KIT promoter contains a G-rich domain within a relatively long sequence potentially able to form three adjacent G-quadruplex (G4) units, namely, K2, SP, and K1. These G4 domains have been studied mainly as single quadruplex units derived from short truncated sequences and are currently considered promising targets for anticancer drugs, alternatively to the encoded protein. Nevertheless, the information reported so far does not contemplate the interplay between those neighboring G4s in the context of the whole promoter, possibly thwarting drug-discovery efforts. Here we report the structural and functional study of the KIT promoter core sequence, in both single- and double-stranded forms, which includes all three predicted G4 units. By preventing the formation of alternatively one or two G4 units and by combining biophysical techniques and biological assays, we show for the first time that these quadruplexes cannot be analyzed independently, but they are correlated to each other. Our data suggest that, while K2 and K1 G-rich sequences retain the ability to fold into parallel G4 motifs within a long sequence, the SP G-rich domain contributes to G4 structure only together with K2. Remarkably, we have found that, in the context of a dynamic equilibrium between the three G4 units, the G4 formed by K1 has the most significant influence on the structure stability and on the biological role of the whole promoter.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)10205-10213
Numero di pagine9
RivistaJournal of the American Chemical Society
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1600.1600???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1300.1303???
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