A DNA sequence that acts as a throttle to control the rate at which an enzyme moves along the DNA has been observed by researchers at UC Davis. By controlling the activity of the RecBCD helicase enzyme, the "Chi" sequence can affect how efficiently genes are repaired.
RecBCD unwinds the DNA double helix so that the genetic code can be read, copied or repaired. This unwinding is an essential first step in most processes involving DNA.
The research findings, which are published in the September 5 issue of the journal Cell, could explain how short DNA sequences such as Chi can interact with enzymes and affect how DNA is copied or repaired. They could also give insight into how to control the speed of tiny nanomachines built for various purposes.
Andy Fell | UC Davis
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