Navigation Links
Wayne State Researchers Report a Possible 'Proofreading' Step in DNA Synthesis by Observing Single Molecules of DNA Polymerase

Research could lead to an understanding of how accurate DNA replication occurs to prevent mutations known to result in cancer and genetic diseases

DETROIT, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Wayne State researchers have for the first time observed the movement of a single molecule of DNA polymerase as it incorporates nucleotides one by one. More significantly, they have identified a previously unknown step that they speculate is part of the proofreading process known to prevent the polymerase from producing cancer-causing mutations.

Louis Romano, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, and David Rueda, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, were published in the Dec. 4, 2009 early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for their observation. In addition, Thomas Christian, a former WSU chemistry graduate student who is now a postdoctoral associate at Yale University, played a key role in the study.

During DNA replication, DNA polymerase incorporates nucleotides into a DNA chain using the strand of the parental DNA as a template to produce two identical double-stranded product DNA molecules. To maintain proper function of the daughter cells, it is crucial that this process be carried out accurately, and the structure of DNA polymerases have evolved so that they only make a mistake once in ~100,000 nucleotides incorporated. An integral part of this process is the ability of most DNA polymerase to remove incorrectly incorporated nucleotides in a process referred to as proofreading. Rueda and Romano believe that they have identified a new step in the proofreading process that helps maintain the incredible accuracy of DNA replication. This process prevents mutations that can lead to potentially deadly diseases such as cancer.

"DNA polymerase has the extremely important job of building DNA accurately," Romano said. "It is fundamentally important to understand how polymerase incorporates nucleotides, so that we may also understand why they sometimes make mistakes that cause genetic mutations and oftentimes disease."

As part of the movement of the DNA polymerase as it traveled across a DNA template, Romano and Rueda observed the polymerase oscillating between the position where nucleotides are attached, and a position where it possibly "checks" that the correct nucleotide was incorporated.

The discovery was achieved using single-molecule microscopy, a method that Rueda brought to Wayne State that allows researchers to observe the movement of single molecules in real time.

"Scientists have been trying to understand the mechanism by which DNA polymerase acts for more than 60 years," Rueda said. "It is well established that proofreading is a part of this process, but the step we see in our experiments has never before been observed," Rueda said.

The next challenge for Rueda and Romano is to further define this new step in DNA replication and acquire more evidence for its proofreading function. They also hope to observe a polymerase making a mistake during replication - something they have not yet observed because it happens so rarely.

"These studies represent the first step in a long-range program that we hope will greatly improve our understanding of an enzyme vital to maintaining our genetic information and preventing diseases such as cancer," Rueda said.

The full paper can be viewed at

Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information on research at Wayne State University, visit

SOURCE Wayne State University

SOURCE Wayne State University
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Response Biomedical appoints S. Wayne Kay Chief Executive Officer
2. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Awards Grant to Reduce Accidental Infant Suffocations in Wayne County
3. Enova Medical Technologies Names Wayne Ramaker Vice President of Marketing and Communications
4. EPA Recognizes Fort Wayne Community Schools for Reducing Diesel Emissions From Its School Buses
5. 2008 Caregiving Conferences Come to Wayne County, Offering Free Workshops and Resources in Canton and Taylor Locations
6. First Study of War-Related Mental Disorders Among Iraqis 10 Years Post-Gulf War Published by Researchers at Wayne State University and Basrah University, Iraq
7. Wayne County Medical Society Foundation To Host Holiday Party For Underprivileged Children Saturday
8. New Zealand Waynes New Resources Development Co., Ltd. Completes Reverse Merger to Go Public in the U.S.
9. Andre Konski, M.D., M.B.A., Accepts Radiation Oncology Position at Wayne State University and the Karmanos Cancer Institute
10. Elder Abuse Prevention the Focus of Wayne County Medical Society Foundations Annual Chinese New Year Fundraiser
11. Wayne County Community College District Presents Second Annual Child Car Seat Check Program
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Genesis Chiropractic Software helps practice ... an agreement between the practice owner and the patient that automatically manages all ... projections. Click here to learn more. , According to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Charitable giving is ... donations are made in the last five weeks of the year totalling over $358 ... in 2012 to connect the nation’s charities with those individuals who want to “give ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... IL (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... are national leaders when it comes to several aspects of orthopedic care. They ... joint replacements, orthopedic surgeries and general orthopedic care. , Becker's Hospital Review ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In response to recent news highlighting ... from prescription opioids in the United States grew 400 percent between 1999 and 2010, ... were involved in 37 percent of all fatal drug overdoses. (1) , While oxycodone ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Serenity Point ... a series of recent video interviews with some of the staff members at their ... the residential treatment facility, as well as some of the things that make their ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  Natera, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... genetic testing and the analysis of circulating ... present at the 27 th  Annual Piper ... 2015 at 1:00 p.m. ET.  Matthew Rabinowitz, Ph.D., CEO of ... business activities and financial outlook. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... York , 24 de noviembre de 2015 ... Avery Breathing Pacemaker System, se complace anunciar el ... como consultor clínico.   ... Foto -   ... es un fisiólogo y consultor en neonatología y ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Connecticut , November 24, 2015 ... of Acadiana has entered into a multi-year agreement ... imaging centers. This investment will provide the Breast Center ... --> Sectra (STO: SECT B) announces that ... agreement to deploy Breast Imaging PACS in its ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: