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Protein abundant in cancerous cells causes DNA 'supercoiling'
Date:3/11/2013

s its way along the inner tube wall. Inside of the tube is a wide spiral path that has a strong positive electrical charge.

"Such a striking feature is unusual," said Chen. Who is also a member of the USC Norris Cancer Center. "When you see that, you know it must have a special function." Indeed, it turns out that the positively charged spiral path attracts and binds to the DNA strand, which has a negatively charged phosphate backbone.

Holding the DNA tightly to the spiral path inside the helical filament tube causes the DNA double-helix to change structure, creating supercoils. Future research by the team will explore how the DNA topology changes caused by MCM impacts cancer cell formation as well as its utility in cancer therapy.


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Contact: Robert Perkins
perkinsr@usc.edu
213-740-9226
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

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