Navigation Links
Stretching DNA to the limit

It has long been known that UV light can damage DNA, reducing its ability to replicate and interact with proteins, and often resulting in the development of skin cancers. However, not much is known about how the elasticity of DNA strands is altered upon exposure to UV light. Now a group of researchers at Duke University have developed a method to measure changes in the mechanical properties of DNA upon irradiation with UV light.

Piotr Marszalek and his colleagues have conducted single-molecule force spectroscopy measurements on viral DNA, which show the unraveling of the DNA double helix upon exposure to UV irradiation. The researchers essentially pick up individual DNA molecules with the tip of a scanning probe microscope and stretch it while measuring the forces generated. These "stretch—release" measurements enable the accurate determination of changes in the elasticity of the DNA strands. Upon exposure to UV light, the force profile of the viral DNA changes dramatically in a dose-dependent manner. The force curve of intact DNA is characterized by a plateau region. This characteristic plateau is drastically reduced in width with increasing exposure to UV light.

UV light induces the crosslinking of the constituent DNA bases within the polynucleotide chains, as well as causes the formation of lesions by linking together the adjacent strands. The small changes in structure induced by this crosslinking can very profoundly affect the ability of DNA to recognize specific molecules, and can thus completely disrupt its ability to replicate and interact with the transcriptional machinery to synthesize proteins. Marszalek and his colleagues have also examined synthetic DNA to figure out the extent to which different bases are affected by UV light. They conclude that the changes in the force profile of viral DNA exposed to UV light are due to the local unwinding of the double helix in some regions arising from the massive formation of crosslinked structures .

"These are the first measurements that establish a relationship between DNA nanomechanics and damage", said Marszalek. He believes that this work paves the way for using stretch—release force spectroscopy measurements in DNA diagnostics.

Source:John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Related biology news :

1. Bumblebees copy one another when contending with unfamiliar flowers
2. New research indicates a troubled greenhouse is brewing
3. DOE JGI launches IMG public online microbial genome data clearinghouse
4. Asleep in the deep: Model helps assess ocean-injection strategy for combating greenhouse effect
5. Food-crop yields in future greenhouse-gas conditions lower than expected
6. Plutonium or greenhouse gases? Weighing the energy options
7. Siberian lakes burp time-bomb greenhouse gas
8. Elephant seal pups suffer from ocean warming
9. Global warming increases oyster sensitivity to pollution
10. Errors in the measurement of global warming corrected
11. Clean skies=faster global warming?

Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/29/2015)...  Connected health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar , ... health and wellness, and the business opportunities that arise ... Internet of Healthy Things . Long before health ... Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, was ... care from the hospital or doctor,s office into the ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... 2015 In the present market scenario, security ... various industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, electronic ... demand for secure & simplified access control and growing ... hacking of bank accounts, misuse of users, , and ... PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected to provide potential ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... India , October 26, 2015 ... --> adds ... 2015 to 2021 as well as ... 2015-2019 research reports to its collection ... . --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna ... announced today that the remaining 11,000 post-share consolidation ... Purchase Warrants (the "Series B Warrants") subject to ... exercised on November 23, 2015, which will result ... After giving effect to the issuance of such ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... customer, OrthoAccel® Technologies, Inc., on being named to Deloitte's 2015 Technology Fast 500 ... Texas facility, OrthoAccel manufactures AcceleDent®, a FDA-cleared, Class II medical device that speeds ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  PDL BioPharma, Inc. (PDL) (NASDAQ: ... the company,s president and chief executive officer, will present at ... week in New York City . The ... December 1, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. EST. ... the website at least 15 minutes prior to the presentation ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 Women with a certain type ... face a higher risk of lung cancer than men with ... week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of ... --> --> Lung nodules are small ... solid or subsolid based on their appearance on CT. Solid ...
Breaking Biology Technology: