Navigation Links
First observation of the folding of a nucleic acid

The prediction of the structure and function of biological macromolecules (i.e., the machinery of life) is of foremost importance in the field of structural biology. Since the elucidation of the three-dimensional structure of DNA (the molecule that carries all genetic information) by Watson and Crick, scientists have strived to decipher the hidden code that determines the evolution of the spatial arrangement of these molecules towards their functional native state. Attempts to follow these structural transitions experimentally and with atomic resolution are hampered by the ultra-fast nature of the folding process. To date, the characterization of these processes by pure computational means has also been very challenging, since monitoring the folding of nucleic acid with realistic methods requires years of computing time in a regular PC.

The researchers Modesto Orozco, Life Sciences Director of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and responsible of the Molecular Modelling and Bioinformatics group at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), and Guillem Portella, postdoctoral researcher of his group, have been able to describe for the first time the folding process of a small DNA hairpin in water and with atomic resolution. The study reveals that, unexpectedly, the folding process appears as a competition between different fast folding and slow folding routes, and that microscopic details determine in a random fashion which route is explored. This investigation, conducted by means of molecular dynamics techniques, has been possible thanks to the enormous computing power of the MareNostrum supercomputer.

The present study has far-reaching implications not only because it represents a new milestone in the theoretical study of nucleic acids' folding, but also it is of great importance for the design of new therapeutic strategies based on oligonucleotides. This is the case, e.g., for RNA interference based treatments, which will help to fight complex diseases such as cancer.


Contact: Sara Ibanez
Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

Related biology news :

1. New way to make malaria medicine also first step in finding new antibiotics
2. Complete Genomics launches, becomes worlds first large-scale human genome sequencing company
3. Digital zebrafish embryo provides the first complete developmental blueprint of a vertebrate
4. Synaptics to Report First Quarter Results on October 23
5. Alzheimers disease research attracts first partner
6. Volcanoes may have provided sparks and chemistry for first life
7. Study of polar dinosaur migration questions whether dinosaurs were truly the first great migrators
8. Synaptics Reports Record Results for First Quarter of Fiscal 2009
9. First comprehensive genomic study of common cold reveals new treatment targets
10. Scientists achieve first tracking of salmon from headwaters in Rockies through Pacific to Alaska
11. First results from hospital trials testing
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/21/2016)... 21, 2016 NuData Security announced today that ... of principal product architect and that Jon ... customer development. Both will report directly to ... moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth in its product ... customer demand and customer focus values. ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... 2016 Transparency Market Research ... Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size Share ... the report, the  global gesture recognition market  was ... is estimated to grow at a CAGR of ... Increasing application of gesture recognition technology ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... TORONTO , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii ... begun a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s ... pilot branch project. This collaboration will result in ... for the credit union, while maintaining existing document ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ("Biorem" or "the Company") ... shareholders, Clean Technology Fund I, LP and Clean Technology ... based venture capital funds which together hold approximately 59% ... diluted, as converted basis), that they have entered into ... holdings in Biorem to TUS Holdings Co. Ltd. ("TUS") ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... solutions for clinical trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter ... their care circle with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of ... from cancer patients.  The funding will be used ... with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a ... be employed to support the design of a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Epic Sciences ... detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting ... cells (CTCs). The new test has already been ... in multiple cancer types. Over 230 ... damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK ...
Breaking Biology Technology: