Previous computational studies have shown that Cu+ can act as a substitute for H+ to support formation of cytosine (C) dimers with similar conformation to the hemi-protonated base pair found in i-motif DNA. Through a range of biophysical methods, we provide experimental evidence to support the hypothesis that Cu+ can mediate C–C base pairing in i-motif DNA and preserve i-motif structure. These effects can be reversed using a metal chelator, or exposure to ambient oxygen in the air that drives oxidation of Cu+ to Cu2+, a comparatively weak ligand. Herein, we present a dynamic and redox-sensitive system for conformational control of an i-motif forming DNA sequence in response to copper cations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5886–5893
Number of pages8
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number12
Early online date24 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2018

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