Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stretching DNA to the Limit

20.04.2007
DNA damage in a new light

It has long been known that UV light can damage DNA, reducing its ability to replicate and interact with proteins, and often resulting in the development of skin cancers. However, not much is known about how the elasticity of DNA strands is altered upon exposure to UV light. Now a group of researchers at Duke University have developed a method to measure changes in the mechanical properties of DNA upon irradiation with UV light.

Piotr Marszalek and his colleagues have conducted single-molecule force spectroscopy measurements on viral DNA, which show the unraveling of the DNA double helix upon exposure to UV irradiation. The researchers essentially pick up individual DNA molecules with the tip of a scanning probe microscope and stretch it while measuring the forces generated. These “stretch—release” measurements enable the accurate determination of changes in the elasticity of the DNA strands. Upon exposure to UV light, the force profile of the viral DNA changes dramatically in a dose-dependent manner. The force curve of intact DNA is characterized by a plateau region. This characteristic plateau is drastically reduced in width with increasing exposure to UV light.

UV light induces the crosslinking of the constituent DNA bases within the polynucleotide chains, as well as causes the formation of lesions by linking together the adjacent strands. The small changes in structure induced by this crosslinking can very profoundly affect the ability of DNA to recognize specific molecules, and can thus completely disrupt its ability to replicate and interact with the transcriptional machinery to synthesize proteins. Marszalek and his colleagues have also examined synthetic DNA to figure out the extent to which different bases are affected by UV light. They conclude that the changes in the force profile of viral DNA exposed to UV light are due to the local unwinding of the double helix in some regions arising from the massive formation of crosslinked structures.

... more about:
»DNA »Marszalek »changes

“These are the first measurements that establish a relationship between DNA nanomechanics and damage”, said Marszalek. He believes that this work paves the way for using stretch—release force spectroscopy measurements in DNA diagnostics.

Author: Piotr E. Marszalek, Duke University (USA), http://www.mems.duke.edu/faculty/marszalek/index.php

Title: Nanomechanical Fingerprints of UV Damage To DNA

Small 2007, 3, No. 5, 809–813, doi: 10.1002/smll.200600592

About Small: Micro and Nano: No small Matter. Science at the nano- and microscale is currently receiving enormous wordwide interest. Published by Wiley-VCH, Small provides the very best forum for experimental and theoretical studies of fundamental and applied interdisciplinary research at these dimensions. Read an attractive mix of peer-reviewed Communications, Reviews, Concepts, Highlights, Essays, and Full Papers.

| Small
Further information:
http://pressroom.small-journal.com
http://www.mems.duke.edu/faculty/marszalek/index.php

Further reports about: DNA Marszalek changes

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

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

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>