Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Visualization of DNA synthesis in vivo

Date:
December 14, 2011
Source:
University of Zurich
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a new substance for labeling and visualization of DNA synthesis in whole animals. Applications for this technique include identifying the sites of virus infections and cancer growth, due to the abundance of DNA replication in these tissues. This approach should therefore lead to new strategies in drug development.

F-ara-Edu injected into Zebrafish eggs.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Zurich

Researchers of the University of Zurich have discovered a new substance for labelling and visualization of DNA synthesis in whole animals. Applications for this technique include identifying the sites of virus infections and cancer growth, due to the abundance of DNA replication in these tissues. This approach should therefore lead to new strategies in drug development.

Interactions of biological macromolecules are the central bases of living systems. Biological macromolecules are synthesized in living cells by linking many small molecules together. Naturally occurring macromolecules include genetic materials (DNA) and proteins. A detailed understanding of the synthesis of these macromolecules in whole animals is a basic requirement for understanding biological systems, and for the development of new therapeutic strategies.

To visualize the synthesis of biomolecules in living organisms, artificial small molecules can be added to and incorporated by the cell's own biosynthetic machinery. Subsequently, the modified biomolecules containing the artificial units can be selectively labelled with fluorescent substances. Until now, this approach had one major limitation: the substances used for labelling were toxic and caused cell death.

Anne Neef, a PhD student from the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the University of Zurich, has developed a new substance that can replace the natural nucleoside thymidine in DNA biosynthesis. This fluorinated nucleoside called "F-ara-Edu" labels DNA with little or no impact on genome function in living cells and even whole animals. "F-ara-Edu" is less toxic than previously reported compounds used for DNA labelling and it can be detected with greater sensitivity. "F-ara-Edu" is therefore ideally suited for experiments aimed at "birth dating" DNA synthesis in vivo.

"As a demonstration of this, F-ara-Edu was injected into Zebrafish eggs immediately after fertilization. Following development and hatching of the fish, the very first cells undergoing differentiation in embryonic development could be identified," explains Anne's research advisor, Prof. Nathan Luedtke. "By visualizing new DNA synthesis in whole animals, the sites of virus infection and cancerous growth can be identified due to the abundance of DNA replication in these tissues," adds Prof. Luedtke. This approach should therefore lead to new strategies in drug development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Zurich. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. B. Neef, N. W. Luedtke. Dynamic metabolic labeling of DNA in vivo with arabinosyl nucleosides. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1101126108

Cite This Page:

University of Zurich. "Visualization of DNA synthesis in vivo." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111213091832.htm>.
University of Zurich. (2011, December 14). Visualization of DNA synthesis in vivo. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111213091832.htm
University of Zurich. "Visualization of DNA synthesis in vivo." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111213091832.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. 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:
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