Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Newly Found DNA Catalysts Cleave DNA With Water Molecule

Date:
August 25, 2009
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Better tools for manipulating DNA in the laboratory may soon be possible with newly discovered deoxyribozymes (catalytic DNA) capable of cleaving single-stranded DNA, researchers say.

Better tools for manipulating DNA in the laboratory may soon be possible with newly discovered deoxyribozymes (catalytic DNA) capable of cleaving single-stranded DNA, say Scott Silverman and other researchers at the University of Illinois.
Credit: Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

Better tools for manipulating DNA in the laboratory may soon be possible with newly discovered deoxyribozymes (catalytic DNA) capable of cleaving single-stranded DNA, researchers at the University of Illinois say.

Related Articles


The deoxyribozymes accomplish the DNA cleavage with the sequence-selectivity and site-selectivity required for a practical catalyst, the researchers say.

"Our work suggests that deoxyribozymes have significant potential as sequence-specific DNA cleavage reagents," said chemistry professor Scott Silverman. "The hope is that we can take this fundamental advance and develop the ability to use DNA as a practical catalyst to cleave double-stranded DNA."

Silverman, postdoctoral research associate Madhavaiah Chandra and graduate student Amit Sachdeva report their discovery in a paper accepted for publication in Nature Chemical Biology.

The researchers discovered the new deoxyribozymes while searching for artificial sequences of DNA that could cleave proteins. The newly found catalysts function in a fashion similar to restriction enzymes, although to date by cleaving only single-stranded DNA.

Restriction enzymes, which allow scientists to cut and paste portions of double-stranded DNA, are the fundamental catalysts of molecular biology.

Each restriction enzyme, however, has a limited number of DNA sequences it can cut. Consequently, only a few percent of arbitrarily chosen DNA sequences can be cut by commercially available restriction enzymes.

Like natural restriction enzymes, the new catalysts are both sequence-specific and site-specific. "This means we can target a particular sequence, and we know we will cut at only one site within that sequence," Silverman said. "By appropriately picking the recognition and enzyme regions of the catalyst, we should be able to cut many more DNA sequences than is possible with current restriction enzymes."

The new DNA catalysts require two metal ions – manganese and zinc – to carry out their catalysis, "which is intriguing, because many natural protein-based nucleases (which cleave DNA) similarly require two metal ions," Silverman said. "One or both of the metals are presumably involved in the chemical mechanism by which our DNA catalyst achieves hydrolysis of the DNA backbone."

DNA hydrolysis is a very challenging chemical reaction, much more difficult to perform than the cleavage of a strand of RNA, Silverman said. In cleaving DNA, a water molecule must be brought in for the breaking reaction to occur. Also, both the DNA and the catalyst must be arranged appropriately in three-dimensional space.

How all of this happens with the DNA catalysts is not yet clear. Silverman's research group continues to probe the structure and mechanism of the catalysts, along with identifying and characterizing catalysts with different recognition sites.

"So far, we have achieved cleavage of single-stranded DNA targets," Silverman said. "The next big step is to cleave double-stranded DNA targets."

The National Institutes of Health, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation funded the work.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Newly Found DNA Catalysts Cleave DNA With Water Molecule." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090816170925.htm>.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (2009, August 25). Newly Found DNA Catalysts Cleave DNA With Water Molecule. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090816170925.htm
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Newly Found DNA Catalysts Cleave DNA With Water Molecule." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090816170925.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins