While it is well established that a mere 2% of human DNA nucleotides are involved in protein coding, the remainder of the DNA plays a vital role in the preservation of normal cellular genetic function. A significant proportion of tandem repeats (TRs) are present in non-coding DNA. TRs - specific sequences of nucleotides that entail numerous repetitions of a given fragment. In this study, we employed our novel algorithm grounded in finite automata theory, which we refer to as Dafna, to investigate for the first time the likelihood of these nucleotide sequences forming non-canonical DNA structures (NS). Such structures include G-quadruplexes, i-motifs, hairpins, and triplexes. The tandem repeats under consideration in our research encompassed sequences containing 1 to 6 nucleotides per repeated fragment. For comparison, we employed a set of randomly generated sequences of the same length (60 nucleotides) as a benchmark. The outcomes of our research exposed a disparity between the potential for NS formation in random sequences and tandem repeats. Our findings affirm that the propensity of DNA and RNA to form NS is closely tied to various genetic disorders, including Huntington's disease, Fragile X syndrome, and Friedreich's ataxia. In the concluding discussion, we present a proposal for a new therapeutic mechanism to address these diseases. This novel approach revolves around the ability of specific nucleic acid fragments to form multiple types of NS.

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