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Publication: Chemistry's Sharon Burgmayer and Benjamin Williams Ph.D. ’15

November 21, 2023

Interactions of Ruthenium(II) Polypyridyl Complexes with Human Telomeric DNA

Authors: Vienna T. Tran, Joshua Turek-Herman, Michelle Ferreira, Kailey N. Martin, Dana Beseiso, Benjamin R. Williams, Frederic Rosu, Valérie Gabelica, Sharon J. Nieter Burgmayer, Liliya A. Yatsunyk

Source: Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, Volume 249, December 2023,

Type of Publication: Journal Article

Description: This research article is coauthored with Liliya Yatsunyk, professor of chemistry at Swarthmore College and resulted from a collaboration between the Burgmayer and Yatsunyk research groups. Eight ruthenium complexes synthesized at Bryn Mawr College were investigated for their G-quadruplex binding abilities at Swarthmore College. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer melting assays were used to screen these complexes for their ability to selectively stabilize human telomeric DNA variant, Tel22. The best G-quadruplex stabilizers were further characterized for their binding properties (binding constant and stoichiometry) using UV–vis, fluorescence spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry. The ligands’ ability to alter the structure of Tel22 was determined via circular dichroism and PAGE studies. Finally, the fluorescence “light switch” behavior of all Ru(II) complexes in the presence of Tel22 G-quadruplex was explored. Current work sheds light on how Ru(II) polypyridyl complexes interact with human telomeric DNA with possible application in cancer therapy or G-quadruplex sensing.


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