Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) 2018 02 2323(2) pii 10.3390/molecules23020493
G-quadruplexes are four-stranded nucleic acid secondary structures that are formed in guanine-rich sequences. G-quadruplexes are widely distributed in functional regions of the human genome and transcriptome, such as human telomeres, oncogene promoter regions, replication initiation sites, and untranslated regions. Many G-quadruplex-forming sequences are found to be associated with cancer, and thus, these non-canonical nucleic acid structures are considered to be attractive molecular targets for cancer therapeutics with novel mechanisms of action. In this mini review, we summarize recent advances made by our lab in the study of G-quadruplex-targeted natural alkaloids and their derivatives toward the development of potential anticancer agents.