The structure, which has been named the i-motif, is a twisted “knot” of DNA. It has previously been observed and studied in vitro, but this is the first time scientists have identified it inside living cells. Previously, researchers in the field debated whether the structure existed at all inside living cells.
The new findings, which come from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia, have recently been published in the journal Nature Chemistry.
In the i-motif, C letters located on the same strand bind to each other, which is unlike the double helix structure, where letters on opposite strands bind to each and where Cs bind to Gs.