Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New tool to study elusive DNA structure could help reveal better understanding of cancer, diabetes

30.08.2005


A Rensselaer researcher has developed a new tool to help unravel the function of an elusive DNA structure. The findings, which were presented today at the 230th national meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Washington, D.C., could lead to a better understanding of diseases such as cancer and diabetes.



The standard version of the human genome is a double-stranded helix of complementary bases: adenine binds to thymine and cytosine binds to guanine. "Our focus is on a different type of DNA structure, the ’G-quartet,’ that arises from hydrogen bonds between guanines only," says Linda McGown, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Scientists have long speculated about the existence of these G-quartets, as well as the role they might play in the human body, but direct evidence has remained elusive. To help answer these questions, McGown and her students at Rensselaer and Duke University have been examining this unusual structure, which is a rectangular array of four guanines, each hydrogen-bonded to its two nearest neighbors.


McGown has developed a "directed proteomic" strategy to compare G-quartet protein-binding profiles in different populations of cells. "This is essentially a fishing experiment using hooks comprised of G-quartet-forming sequences from the DNA genome, in hopes of catching proteins that might bind to such structures in the human nucleus," she says. McGown recently discovered that insulin binds to a G-quartet formed by a sequence that occurs in the insulin promoter gene.

"The possibility that insulin may participate in its own regulation is intriguing, and adds to the growing evidence relating G-quartet formation and diabetes," she says. She plans to apply her technique to G-quartet-forming sequences that occur in other regions of human chromosomes and have been implicated in cancer, aging, and genetic diseases. Her goal is to increase understanding of the role of G-quartets in health and disease, leading to the identification of new biomarkers and medical therapies.

McGown is one of 18 Rensselaer researchers presenting at the ACS meeting in Washington, along with Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson, who will be speaking at a special event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the ACS Scholars Program. Her talk will focus on the urgent need to build the next generation of scientists, which she asserts requires fostering a national plan and a national will to succeed.

McGown’s presentation, "Detection of cellular proteins using genomic-inspired DNA," took place at 3:45 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 29, in room 152B of the Washington Convention Center.

Jason Gorss | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rpi.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>