A pyrene-imidazolium derivative that selectively Recognizes G-Quadruplex DNA

Ha Na Kim, Eun Hae Lee, Zhaochao Xu, Hee Eun Kim, Hee Seung Lee, Joon Hwa Lee, Juyoung Yoon

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49 Scopus citations


G-quadruplexes, formed of four stranded guanine bases stabilized by monovalent cations, serve important role in cancer cell growth and control gene expression in telomere. Since there are various types of quadruplex structures, rapid and simple screening methods with high selectivity, sensitivity and nontoxicity are required for understanding about the biological roles of quadruplex DNA as well as in designing therapeutics. Herein, we report a pyrene-imidazolium derivative, JY-1, which can with high selectivity recognize G-quadruplex using fluorescence and NMR spectroscopy. This is the first example based on the imidazolium derivative, which can detect the G-quadruplex directly to utilize the excimer/monomer emission change in pyrene fluorophore. The selectivity of strong binding to a specific sequence can allow for quadruplex sensing and the detection method presented here is very simple, using fluorescence and NMR study. Also, the groove binding characteristic of JY-1 to the G-quadruplex has a relatively low nonspecific toxicity and the structure-specific differences in fluorescent character between DNA duplex and G-quadruplex may offer more discovery and application in biological study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2282-2288
Number of pages7
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Jae-Sun Shin and Prof. Byong-Seok Choi for supporting NMR experiments. This work was supported by the NRF Grants ( 2010-0014199 , NRF-C1ABA001-2010-0020480 to J.-H.L.; 2011-0020450 , R31-2008-000-10010-0 (WCU) to J.Y.) funded by the Korean Government (MEST). J.-H.L. also thanks to the support by a grant from the Next-Generation BioGreen 21 Program (SSAC, grant #: PJ008109), Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea. J.Y. also thanks to the support by the Ewha Global Top5 Grant 2011 of Ewha Womans University.


  • Excimer emission
  • Fluorescent sensor
  • G-quadruplex
  • Imidazolium
  • NMR
  • Pyrene


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