In the beginning was the…” Guanine (?)

That’s where everything started for us.  One of the humble heterocycle components of DNA and RNA is a very versatile molecule. You may know guanine (G) for its preference to partner with cytosine in DNA, but by itself, it is the basis of alternative structures known as G-quadruplexes (GQs). For a long time GQs were considered a mere lab curiosity, with little or no biological relevance. That view has changed drastically in the last two decades and now they are appreciated for multiple roles in the regulation of critical genes.

What’s up, G!”

But before GQs were recognized in DNA, G was all on its own making quartets that would stack like coins into what we like to call supramolecular G-quadruplexes (SGQs) to distinguish them from oligomeric GQs like those formed by DNA and RNA.

… you can always change, become a better version of yourself.” Madonna

As awesome as G is, there’s always room for improvement. So, we’ve made synthetic G-derivatives that also form SGQs, but contain new features that make them more suitable for the construction of functional  assemblies. So, we design, synthesize and study hierarchical self-assembled structures made from G-derivatives. Such structures, spanning from the nano- to the microscale, are potentially suitable for biomedical applications like the delivery of therapeutic agents.

But wait, there’s more!” Ron Popeil

The brief research description above is intended to be as simple as possible without sacrificing too much accuracy. For a more technical and current description visit our Publications page.

Last update: 2016-10-29

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