I-motif DNA in Small-molecule Analysis Through Optical Microscopes and Foster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) Techniques04/09/2019
I-motif DNA is an apocryphal form of DNA, recently discovered to participate in cellular processes. The i-motif structure results to be extremely sensitive to pH changes, making it a perfect instrument to observe cellular-level interactions. In this investigation, i-motif DNA was used to study the G-quadruplex DNA: sequences rich in the Guanine Hydrogen base that makes up DNA. The purpose of the investigation was to study the interaction and changes pH mostly has in G-Quadruplex structures, with an emphasis on small molecules and time intervals. “Small molecules” in this investigation refers to chemical molecules with less than 1 nanometer in width/radius. In order to observe the changes that are desired, FRET imaging is used. This recent imaging technique allows to record small energy differences within a 10nm distance of the molecules binding sites, allowing for high accuracy of experiments. Although I-motif DNA and FRET imaging are recent in scientific experiments and knowledge, their uses are vast. The pH changes studies in this investigation are akin to biological changes and reactions often used as a way to ‘signal’ response to input within cells. These “changes” can be applied and used for inhibitors and conformational switches in cancer research; structural signals on nanoengineering; or simply to extend the knowledge so far obtained in I-motif and G-Quadruplex research.