Navigation Links
ANU scientists crack DNA replication mystery

A team of scientists led by Professor Nick Dixon at the Research School of Chemistry at The Australian National University have cracked one of the great DNA mysteries. For more than 20 years scientists have tried in vain to understand the last step in the copying of DNA in cells that are about to divide.

The research findings were published in the prestigious international journal Cell this morning.

In all cells, DNA is copied by a large molecular machine called the replisome. The replisome does two things: it pulls the two DNA strands apart, and then it makes copies of both of the strands at the same time. "You can think of the strand separation part like a snowplough. The replisome tracks along one of the DNA strands and pushes the other one off it," Professor Dixon said.

In certain bacteria, a small protein called TUS binds to the last part of DNA to be copied in a way that stops the replisome when it faces in one direction, but not in the other. How it can work this way has been a long standing puzzle.

The ANU team finally solved the important question of how TUS stops the replisome in this directional manner. "When the replisome comes along from one direction, separation of the two DNA strands simply knocks the TUS off as you'd expect. But when it comes from the other direction, the strand separation near TUS leads to one of the DNA bases flipping over and inserting itself like a key in a lock in a perfectly shaped pocket on the surface of TUS. TUS is locked onto the DNA and this stops the replisome snowplough in its tracks."

Professor Dixon said the discovery was important "not just because it solved a fundamental scientific question, but also because TUS was found to lock onto the DNA very strongly and in an entirely new way."

"Strong interactions like this have great potential to be used in bio- and nano-technology in fabricating new devices that might for example, be used for early detection of diseases," Prof essor Dixon said.

"This discovery illustrates once again how the quest for fundamental knowledge can result in unexpected technological progress."


Source:Research Australia

Related biology news :

1. Wisconsin scientists grow critical nerve cells
2. UCSB scientists probe sea floor venting to gain understanding of early life on Earth
3. UAB scientists discover the origin of a mysterious physical force
4. Fox Chase Cancer Center scientists identify immune-system mutation
5. Weizmann Institute scientists develop a new approach for directing treatment to metastasized prostate cancer in the bones.
6. U-M scientists find genes that control growth of common skin cancer
7. UCLA scientists transform HIV into cancer-seeking missile
8. RNA project to create language for scientists worldwide
9. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop tool that uses MRI to visualize gene expression in living animals
10. To control germs, scientists deploy tiny agents provocateurs
11. Leprosy microbes lead scientists to immune discovery
Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... partnership to integrate the Onegini mobile security platform ... ) The integration ... security to access and transact across channels. Using ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... Israel , April 14, 2016 ... Authentication and Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of ... assumed the new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment ... on the heels of the deployment of its platform ... BioCatch,s behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... 23, 2016 ... Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern     ... MESG ), ein führender Anbieter digitaler ... mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen Biometrietechnologie ... die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler Apps ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers ... the most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are ... to read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...   Boston Biomedical , an industry leader ... target cancer stemness pathways, announced that its lead ... Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is an orally ... stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and is currently ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital ... Sports Association to serve as their official health ... Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training ... association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition ... harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams ... New York City . The ... projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong ... senior curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne ...
Breaking Biology Technology: