Research Fellows Directory
Jorge Gonzalez Garcia
Dr Jorge Gonzalez Garcia
Imperial College London
Non-canonical nucleic acid structures have been implicated in a range of essential biological processes. In particular, quadruplex DNA and RNA structures have been shown to play important roles in regulation of gene expression, telomere maintenance and replication, and therefore, have been identified as potential drug targets (particularly for anticancer drugs). From a structural point of view, a quadruplex motif is composed by stacked guanine tetrads which are connected forming a Hoogsteen hydrogen pattern with the central site occupied by a metal cation. This particular arrangement yields on the possibility to target this motif selectively using natural and synthetic compounds, thus academic and industrial efforts have been focused in the use of such compounds to regulate the biological processes in future therapies for cancer and aging. In spite of the great advances in the development of synthetic compounds as quadruplex binders, there is still a lack of compounds with high selectivity for quadruplex vs. duplex as well as for one quadruplex over others. In addition, little is known about the effect that such small molecules have in the ability of proteins to recognise quadruplex structures, the latter being particularly important to understand the cellular effects that quadruplex binders display. Therefore, the goals of this research are to develop new quadruplex binders with enhanced biophysical properties that interact effectively and selectively with quadruplexes, to use these compounds to understand the role of quadruplexes in cell cycle and to apply the best quadruplex binders as newer anticancer drugs.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)