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YY1 interacts with guanine quadruplexes to regulate DNA looping and gene expression.


The DNA guanine quadruplexes (G4) play important roles in multiple cellular processes, including DNA replication, transcription and maintenance of genome stability. Here, we showed that Yin and Yang 1 (YY1) can bind directly to G4 structures. ChIP-seq results revealed that YY1-binding sites overlap extensively with G4 structure loci in chromatin. We also observed that the dimerization of YY1 and its binding with G4 structures contribute to YY1-mediated long-range DNA looping. Displacement of YY1 from G4 structure sites disrupts substantially the YY1-mediated DNA looping. Moreover, treatment with G4-stabilizing ligands modulates the expression of not only those genes with G4 structures in their promoters, but also those associated with distal G4 structures that are brought to close proximity via YY1-mediated DNA looping. Together, we identified YY1 as a DNA G4-binding protein, and revealed that YY1-mediated long-range DNA looping requires its dimerization and occurs, in part, through its recognition of G4 structure.

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