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. Pιrez, 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.

Related Articles


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 Pιrez, "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 Pιrez 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 November 24, 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 November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. 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

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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