i-motif DNA structure, illustration

i-motif DNA structure, illustration

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Credit: KEITH CHAMBERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: i-motif DNA structure (centre), computer illustration. The intercalated motif (i-motif) structure is a four stranded knot of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that forms in cytosine-rich regions of a DNA molecule. Cytosine is one of the four nucleotide bases of DNA. When forming a double helix, cytosine bonds only with guanine. However, in i-motif structures two cytosine bases bond to each other. These structures were first seen in human cells in 2018, when an antibody (y-shaped molecule) was found that recognises them. i-motif structures are thought to have a regulatory role in the genome.

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