Navigation Links
Study led by NUS researchers proves the existence of 3 overstretched DNA structures

A team of researchers led by Associate Professor Yan Jie from the Department of Physics at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Science has identified three new distinct overstretched deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) structures caused by mechanical stretching. This discovery provides a clear answer to a long-running debate among scientists over the nature of DNA overstretching.

Debate on Possible DNA Structural Transitions

Recent single-molecule studies revealed that mechanical stretching could induce transitions to elongated DNA structures. Three possible elongated DNA structures have been proposed, namely: a single-stranded DNA under tension, DNA bubbles consisting two parallel, separated single-stranded DNA under tension, and a new form of base-paired double-stranded DNA. The existence of the three transitions has been heavily discussed among scientists for some 17 years.

To fully understand the nature of DNA overstretching, the team led by Assoc Prof Yan, which comprises members from NUS, the University of Minnesota and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explored the possible structural transitions.

Three Distinct Transitions Revealed

In their recent study, the researchers systematically investigated the three possible transitions induced by mechanical stretching, with methods to control DNA construct, temperature, force and salt concentration. Their data successfully identified all the three proposed structures and fully characterised their respective thermo-mechanical properties. These findings were first published on the online version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on 19 February 2013.

These findings complete the picture about the structures of DNA under tension, providing a conclusion to the 17-year-old debate.

An illustration of three distinct elongated DNA structures produced by mechanical stretching (Image credit: NUS)

Biological Implications and Potential Applications

As forces over a wide range are present in the DNA of cells, the researchers' findings provide new perspectives of possible force-dependent regulations of critical biological processes, such as DNA damage repair and gene transcriptions.

In addition, as many recently developed DNA devices are based on thermo-mechanical properties of various DNA structural motifs, these findings may also have potential applications in designing new DNA devices for the future.

The Next Step

To further their research, Assoc Prof Yan and his team will study the physiological functions of the three overstretched DNA structures, and investigate the presence of any new DNA structures under other mechanical constraints.

Contact: Sarah LOKE
National University of Singapore

Related biology news :

1. Wayne State study shows airborne dust in urban areas impacts lead levels in children
2. Georgia Physicians Study Published in The Journal of Urology
3. New study shows continued decline in the last remaining stronghold for leatherback sea turtles
4. Study finds maize in diets of people in coastal Peru dates to 5,000 years ago
5. WCS Adirondack Park study shows exurban residences impact bird communities up to 200 meters away
6. Influenza study: Meet virus new enemy
7. Omega-3s inhibit breast cancer tumor growth, study finds
8. New study indicates avocado consumption may be associated with better diet quality
9. Genome-wide imaging study identifies new gene associated with Alzheimers plaques
10. Study: Resveratrol shows promise to protect hearing, cognition
11. Preclinical study shows potential of new technologies to detect response to cancer therapy earlier
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Study led by NUS researchers proves the existence of 3 overstretched DNA structures
(Date:6/27/2016)... DUBLIN , June 27, 2016 Research ... in North America 2016-2020" report to their offering. ... North America to grow at a CAGR ... has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs ... growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... Md. , June 22, 2016  The American College ... Trade Show Executive Magazine as one of the ... on May 25-27 at the Bellagio in Las ... on the highest percentage of growth in each of the ... of exhibiting companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 2016   Acuant , the leading ... has partnered with RightCrowd ® to ... Management, Self-Service Kiosks and Continuous Workforce Assurance. ... functional enhancements to existing physical access control ... with an automated ID verification and authentication ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 A person commits a crime, ... scene to track the criminal down. An outbreak ... and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used ... investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEW YORK , June, 23, 2016  The ... students to envision new ways to harness living systems ... of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York ... more than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s ... included Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case ... Denmark detail how a patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer ... could change the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 On Wednesday, June 22, ... down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower ... 2,085.45, down 0.17%. has initiated coverage on the following ... Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... BIND ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: