Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First realistic simulation of DNA unfolding

Date:
May 25, 2010
Source:
Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB
Summary:
The separation of the two DNA strands occurs in millionths of a second. Consequently, it is extremely difficult to study this phenomenon experimentally and researchers must rely on computational simulations. After four years of fine-tuning an effective physical model and massive use of the supercomputer Mare Nostrum, researchers have managed to produce the first realistic simulation of DNA opening at high resolution.

From left to right and up to down, DNA structure movements that permit to get an idea about the mechanism by which DNA starts to unfold.
Credit: Copyright A. P้rez, courtesy IRB

The separation of the two DNA strands occurs in millionths of a second. Consequently, it is extremely difficult to study this phenomenon experimentally and researchers must rely on computational simulations. After four years of fine-tuning an effective physical model and massive use of the supercomputer Mare Nostrum, researchers at IRB Barcelona and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) have managed to produce the first realistic simulation of DNA opening at high resolution.

The scientists Modesto Orozco, group leader of the Molecular Modelling and Bioinformatics Group at IRB Barcelona, Full Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Barcelona and director of the Life Sciences Dept. at the BSC, and Alberto P้rez, "Juan de la Cierva" researcher at BSC, currently at the University of California, San Francisco, (U.S.) publish their findings in a leading international chemistry journal, Angewandte Chemie.

Alberto P้rez explains that "many of the functions of DNA come about when its two strands separate, when, for example, it has to replicate during cell division or in repair processes. With this study, we propose a mechanism for this process, which in turn, will lead to new experiments for its final corroboration."

The researchers have studied a small DNA fragment, of 12 base pairs (the human genomes has about 3,000 million base pairs), and have obtained 10 million structural snapshots of how DNA unfolds. In this process they have revealed the two main ways by which the natural folded structure move to an unfolded state. "This project," explains Prof. Orozco, "is part of a greater objective of the lab: to attempt to understand the changes that the DNA structure undergoes in biological processes that occur within the cell, such as the expression and repression of genes or DNA replication and transcription."

DNA holds the genetic information of living organisms and its double helical structure was discovered more than 50 years ago by Watson and Crick. DNA and the proteins that modify it are the most important therapeutic targets in several pathologies, and particularly in cancer. The work performed at IRB Barcelona provides a detailed view of the mechanism through which one of the most crucial processes in DNA occurs, and opens up new prospects regarding the connection between physical properties, functionality and pharmacological effect. The final objective is to achieve that new breakthroughs turn DNA into a universal pharmacological target.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alberto Perez, Modesto Orozco. Real-Time Atomistic Description of DNA Unfolding. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2010; DOI: 10.1002/anie.201000593

Cite This Page:

Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB. "First realistic simulation of DNA unfolding." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100520093323.htm>.
Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB. (2010, May 25). First realistic simulation of DNA unfolding. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100520093323.htm
Institute for Research in Biomedicine-IRB. "First realistic simulation of DNA unfolding." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100520093323.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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