Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Models begin to unravel how single DNA strands combine

Abstract:
Using computer simulations, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers has identified some of the pathways through which single complementary strands of DNA interact and combine to form the double helix.

Models begin to unravel how single DNA strands combine

Madison, WI | Posted on October 5th, 2009

Present in the cells of all living organisms, DNA is composed of two intertwined strands and contains the genetic "blueprint" through which all living organisms develop and function. Individual strands consist of nucleotides, which include a base, a sugar and a phosphate moiety.

Understanding hybridization, the process through which single DNA strands combine to form a double helix is fundamental to biology and central to technologies such as DNA microchips or DNA-based nanoscale assembly. The research by the Wisconsin group begins to unravel how DNA strands come together and bind to each other, says Juan J. de Pablo, UW-Madison Howard Curler Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

The team published its findings today (Oct. 5) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In addition to senior author de Pablo, the group included David C. Schwartz, a UW-Madison professor of chemistry and genetics, and former postdoctoral research fellow Edward J. Sambriski, now an assistant professor of chemistry at Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania.

The three drew on detailed molecular DNA models developed by de Pablo's research group to study the reaction pathways through which double-stranded DNA undergo denaturation, where the molecule uncoils and separates into single strands, and hybridization, through which complementary DNA strands bind, or "hybridize." In Watson-Crick base pairing, A (adenine) pairs with T (thymine), while G (guanine) pairs with C (cytosine). Reaction pathways are the trajectories single DNA strands follow to find each other and connect via such complementary pairs.

The researchers studied both random and repetitive base sequences. Random sequences of the four bases - A, T, G and C - contained little or no regular repetition. To the researchers' surprise, a couple of bases located toward the center of the strand associate early in the hybridization process. The moment they find each other, they bind and the entire molecule hybridizes rapidly and in a highly organized manner.

Conversely, in repetitive sequences, the bases alternated regularly, and the group found that these sequences bind through a so-called diffusive process. "The two strands of DNA somehow find each other, they connect to each other in no particular order, and then they slide past each other for a long time until the exact complements find one another in the right order, and then they hybridize," says de Pablo.

Results of the team's study show that DNA hybridization is very sensitive to DNA composition, or sequence. "Contrary to what was thought previously, we found that the actual process by which complementary DNA strands hybridize is very sensitive to the sequence of the molecules," he says.

Knowledge of how the process occurs could enable researchers to more strategically design technologies such as gene chips. For example, says de Pablo, if a researcher wanted to design sequences that bind very rapidly or with high efficiency, he or she could place certain bases in specific locations, so that the hybridization reaction could occur faster or more reliably.

Ultimately, the research could help biologists understand why some hybridization reactions are faster or more robust than others. "One of the really exciting things about this work is that the hybridization reaction between two strands of DNA is really fundamental to life itself," says de Pablo. "It is the basis for much of biology. And it is amazing to me that, until now, we knew little of how this reaction actually proceeds."

The National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center on Templated Synthesis and Assembly at the Nanoscale at UW-Madison sponsored the research.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Juan de Pablo

608-262-7727

Renee Meiller

608-262-2481

Copyright © University of Wisconsin-Madison

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Global Nano-Enabled Packaging Market For Food and Beverages Will Reach $15.0 billion in 2020 May 26th, 2015

Dr.Theivasanthi Slashes the Price of Graphene Heavily: World first & lowest price Nano-price (30 USD / kg) of graphene by nanotechnologist May 26th, 2015

Fine-tuned molecular orientation is key to more efficient solar cells May 26th, 2015

DNA Double Helix Does Double Duty in Assembling Arrays of Nanoparticles: Synthetic pieces of biological molecule form framework and glue for making nanoparticle clusters and arrays May 25th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Researchers find the 'key' to quantum network solution May 25th, 2015

One step closer to a single-molecule device: Columbia Engineering researchers first to create a single-molecule diode -- the ultimate in miniaturization for electronic devices -- with potential for real-world applications May 25th, 2015

DNA Double Helix Does Double Duty in Assembling Arrays of Nanoparticles: Synthetic pieces of biological molecule form framework and glue for making nanoparticle clusters and arrays May 25th, 2015

Engineering Phase Changes in Nanoparticle Arrays: Scientists alter attractive and repulsive forces between DNA-linked particles to make dynamic, phase-shifting forms of nanomaterials May 25th, 2015

Discoveries

Fine-tuned molecular orientation is key to more efficient solar cells May 26th, 2015

Researchers find the 'key' to quantum network solution May 25th, 2015

One step closer to a single-molecule device: Columbia Engineering researchers first to create a single-molecule diode -- the ultimate in miniaturization for electronic devices -- with potential for real-world applications May 25th, 2015

DNA Double Helix Does Double Duty in Assembling Arrays of Nanoparticles: Synthetic pieces of biological molecule form framework and glue for making nanoparticle clusters and arrays May 25th, 2015

Announcements

Global Nano-Enabled Packaging Market For Food and Beverages Will Reach $15.0 billion in 2020 May 26th, 2015

Dr.Theivasanthi Slashes the Price of Graphene Heavily: World first & lowest price Nano-price (30 USD / kg) of graphene by nanotechnologist May 26th, 2015

Fine-tuned molecular orientation is key to more efficient solar cells May 26th, 2015

DNA Double Helix Does Double Duty in Assembling Arrays of Nanoparticles: Synthetic pieces of biological molecule form framework and glue for making nanoparticle clusters and arrays May 25th, 2015

Nanobiotechnology

DNA Double Helix Does Double Duty in Assembling Arrays of Nanoparticles: Synthetic pieces of biological molecule form framework and glue for making nanoparticle clusters and arrays May 25th, 2015

Engineering Phase Changes in Nanoparticle Arrays: Scientists alter attractive and repulsive forces between DNA-linked particles to make dynamic, phase-shifting forms of nanomaterials May 25th, 2015

This Slinky lookalike 'hyperlens' helps us see tiny objects: The photonics advancement could improve early cancer detection, nanoelectronics manufacturing and scientists' ability to observe single molecules May 23rd, 2015

Supercomputer unlocks secrets of plant cells to pave the way for more resilient crops: IBM partners with University of Melbourne and UQ May 21st, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project