Navigation Links
DNA catalysts do the work of protein enzymes
Date:3/19/2013

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Illinois chemists have used DNA to do a protein's job, creating opportunities for DNA to find work in more areas of biology, chemistry and medicine than ever before.

Led by Scott Silverman, a professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the researchers published their findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ideally, researchers would like to be able to design and build new catalysts from scratch that can do exactly what they want. Many enzymes make small modifications to the building blocks of proteins, amino acids, which can create large changes in a finished protein. However, designing or even modifying protein enzymes is a very difficult task, thanks to their complexity and size.

"Protein enzymes are the workhorses of biology," Silverman said. "They do most of the catalytic activity. Our idea is to use another kind of catalyst, artificial DNA sequences, to modify the side chains on proteins, which therefore affects their biological function."

One of the most important and difficult reactions in nature is the addition or removal of a phosphate group. In the realm of proteins, the amino acids serine and tyrosine can have phosphate added to or removed from them, which can alter the protein's function or turn enzyme activity on or off. Without help from catalysts, such reactions take a very long time to occur on the order of thousands to millions of years. So nature uses enzymes called kinases or phosphatases to catalyze these reactions.

Silverman's group identified artificial DNA catalysts that can do phosphatase's job of removing phosphate from serine and tyrosine. Demonstrating that DNA can catalyze such difficult reactions is an important step forward in designing and using DNA catalysts.

"At this point, this is basic science. We're trying to figure out, what kind of reactions can DNA catalyze? And how do we find DNA catalysts that can catalyze these reactions?" Silverman said.

To find the DNA catalysts that can perform a phosphatase reaction, the researchers used a process called in vitro selection. This method searches through vast numbers of DNA sequences to identify the few that could perform a specific activity. The researchers then synthesize those DNA strands and use them for various applications.

"We believe that DNA catalysts can be a very useful tool in the future to study these kinds of protein modifications," said graduate student and co-author Jagadeeswaran Chandrasekar. "To have DNA that you can synthesize on a machine and do catalytic activity on large molecules like proteins is very exciting. We can make fresh new DNA sequences, without requiring a natural starting point, and perform important reactions."

The researchers tested their DNA catalysts' activity in the presence of other large, non-specific proteins, to find out if they would function in an environment resembling the cell. The DNA catalysts were not bothered by the extra company, giving the researchers hope that one day their DNA catalysts could be used for practical applications in vivo.

Next, the researchers will continue to refine the in vitro selection process and hope to identify more DNA catalysts, designing and building molecules to perform specific functions.

"This kind of finding is enabling because it shows that DNA catalysis of biologically interesting processes is possible," Silverman said, "and with this outcome we can have confidence that the broader objectives of this kind of research are likely to be achievable."


'/>"/>

Contact: Liz Ahlberg
eahlberg@illinois.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. KIT: Processes at the surface of catalysts
2. Painting with catalysts: Nano-engineered materials for detoxifying water by use of sunlight
3. Catalysts that produce green fuel
4. IU biologists offer clearer picture of how protein machine systems tweak gene expression
5. Making memories: How 1 protein does it
6. Embryonic development protein active in cancer growth
7. More effective method of imaging proteins
8. The loss of a protein makes jump the tumor to the lymph node
9. Gold nanoantennas detect proteins
10. The Japanese traditional therapy, honokiol, blocks key protein in inflammatory brain damage
11. New hope for treating Alzheimers Disease: A role for the FKBP52 protein
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
DNA catalysts do the work of protein enzymes
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 The ... Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, ... Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion ... and 2022. The base year considered for the study ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 The Controller General of Immigration from ... Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the ... Continue Reading ... ... Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market by Technology (Touch-based ... to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to be worth USD ... 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to ... period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... 10, 2017 International research firm Parks Associates announced ... at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in ... residential home security market and how smart safety and security products impact ... Parks Associates: Smart Home ... "The residential security market has ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech ... biological mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell ... critical limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment ... amount of limbs saved as compared to standard ... the molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: