Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > DNA clamp to grab cancer before it develops

Artist’s rendering of the discovery: the research team took advantage of the ability of certain DNA sequences to form a triple helix, in order to develop a DNA clamp. This nanometer-scale clamp recognizes and binds DNA sequences more strongly and more specifically, allowing the development of more effective diagnostic. Professor Alexis Vallée-Bélisle, Department of Chemistry, Université de Montréal worked with the researcher Andrea Idili and Professor Francesco Ricci of the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and Professor Kevin W. Plaxco, University of California Santa Barbara, to develop this diagnostic nanomachine.
Credit: Marco Tripodi
Artist’s rendering of the discovery: the research team took advantage of the ability of certain DNA sequences to form a triple helix, in order to develop a DNA clamp. This nanometer-scale clamp recognizes and binds DNA sequences more strongly and more specifically, allowing the development of more effective diagnostic. Professor Alexis Vallée-Bélisle, Department of Chemistry, Université de Montréal worked with the researcher Andrea Idili and Professor Francesco Ricci of the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and Professor Kevin W. Plaxco, University of California Santa Barbara, to develop this diagnostic nanomachine.

Credit: Marco Tripodi

Abstract:
As part of an international research project, a team of researchers has developed a DNA clamp that can detect mutations at the DNA level with greater efficiency than methods currently in use. Their work could facilitate rapid screening of those diseases that have a genetic basis, such as cancer, and provide new tools for more advanced nanotechnology. The results of this research is published this month in the journal ACS Nano.

DNA clamp to grab cancer before it develops

Montreal, Canada | Posted on December 20th, 2013

Toward a new generation of screening tests

An increasing number of genetic mutations have been identified as risk factors for the development of cancer and many other diseases. Several research groups have attempted to develop rapid and inexpensive screening methods for detecting these mutations. "The results of our study have considerable implications in the area of diagnostics and therapeutics," says Professor Francesco Ricci, "because the DNA clamp can be adapted to provide a fluorescent signal in the presence of DNA sequences having mutations with high risk for certain types cancer. The advantage of our fluorescence clamp, compared to other detection methods, is that it allows distinguishing between mutant and non-mutant DNA with much greater efficiency. This information is critical because it tells patients which cancer(s) they are at risk for or have."

"Nature is a constant source of inspiration in the development of technologies," says Professor Alexis Vallée-Bélisle. "For example, in addition to revolutionizing our understanding of how life works, the discovery of the DNA double helix by Watson, Crick and Franklin in 1953 also inspired the development of many diagnostic tests that use the strong affinity between two complementary DNA strands to detect mutations."

"However, it is also known that DNA can adopt many other architectures, including triple helices, which are obtained in DNA sequences rich in purine (A, G) and pyrimidine (T, C) bases," says the researcher Andrea Idili, first author of the study. "Inspired by these natural triple helices, we developed a DNA-based clamp to form a triple helix whose specificity is ten times greater than a double helix allows."

"Beyond the obvious applications in the diagnosis of genetic diseases, I believe this work will pave the way for new applications related in the area of DNA-based nanostructures and nanomachines," notes Professor Kevin Plaxco, University of California, Santa Barbara. "Such nanomachines could ultimately have a major impact on many aspects of healthcare in the future."

"The next step is to test the clamp on human samples, and if it is successful, it will begin the process of commercialization," concludes Professor Vallée-Bélisle.

About the study

The research was funded by the Italian Ministry of Universities and Research (MIUR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations program, the European Commission Marie Curie Actions program, and the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Julie Gazaille

514-343-6796

Source :
Alexis Vallée-Bélisle
Professor, Chemistry Department, Université de Montréal

Copyright © University of Montreal

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 Links

The article Thermodynamic Basis for Engineering High-Affinity, High-Specificity Binding-Induced DNA Clamp Nanoswitches was published in the journal ACS Nano:

Laboratory of Professeur Alexis Vallée-Bélisle:

Laboratory of Professeur Francesco Ricci:

Laboratory of Professeur Kevin Plaxco:

Related News Press

News and information

Getting to the root of tooth replantation challenges: Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) report a delivery system that promotes healing in tooth replantation in rats September 17th, 2021

Researchers reveal multi-path mechanism in electrochemical CO2 reduction September 17th, 2021

Scientists demonstrate pathway to forerunner of nanotubes that could lead to widespread industrial fabrication September 17th, 2021

Silver nanoparticles boost performance of microbial fuel cells September 17th, 2021

Molecular Machines

Nanotech scientists create world's smallest origami bird March 17th, 2021

Controlling the speed of enzyme motors brings biomedical applications of nanorobots closer: Recent advances in this field have made micro- and nanomotors promising devices for solving many biomedical problems October 13th, 2020

Giant nanomachine aids the immune system: Theoretical chemistry August 28th, 2020

Kavli Lectures: The art of building small and innovating for industrial impact August 7th, 2020

Nanomedicine

New nano particles suppress resistance to cancer immunotherapy September 17th, 2021

Getting to the root of tooth replantation challenges: Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) report a delivery system that promotes healing in tooth replantation in rats September 17th, 2021

Engineering various sources of loss provides new features for perfect light absorption: "Loss is ubiquitous in nature, and by better understanding it, we make it more useful" September 10th, 2021

Leibniz Prize winner Professor Dr. Oliver G. Schmidt moves to Chemnitz University of Technology: President Professor Dr. Gerd Strohmeier refers to an 'absolute top transfer' September 10th, 2021

Discoveries

Ultrasound at the nanometre scale reveals the nature of force September 17th, 2021

A simple way to get complex semiconductors to assemble themselves: Much like crystallizing rock candy from sugar syrup, the new method grows 2D perovskites precisely layered with other 2D materials to produce crystals with a wide range of electronic properties September 17th, 2021

Getting to the root of tooth replantation challenges: Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) report a delivery system that promotes healing in tooth replantation in rats September 17th, 2021

Researchers reveal multi-path mechanism in electrochemical CO2 reduction September 17th, 2021

Announcements

Getting to the root of tooth replantation challenges: Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) report a delivery system that promotes healing in tooth replantation in rats September 17th, 2021

Researchers reveal multi-path mechanism in electrochemical CO2 reduction September 17th, 2021

Scientists demonstrate pathway to forerunner of nanotubes that could lead to widespread industrial fabrication September 17th, 2021

Silver nanoparticles boost performance of microbial fuel cells September 17th, 2021

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

New nano particles suppress resistance to cancer immunotherapy September 17th, 2021

New physics research reveals fresh complexities about electron behavior in materials September 17th, 2021

Good for groundwater – bad for crops? Plastic particles release pollutants in upper soil layers: The environmental geoscientists at the Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science (CMESS) focused on a variety of parameters that contribute to plastic pollution in far September 17th, 2021

Ultrasound at the nanometre scale reveals the nature of force September 17th, 2021

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




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project