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 September 30, 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 September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) The drop in price of soy on the international market is a cause for concern in Argentina, as soybean exports are a major source of income for Latin America's third largest economy. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) A mama bear and her two cubs climb trees, wrestle and take naps in the backyard of a Monrovia, California home. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

'Crazy' Climate Forces Colombian Farmers to Adapt

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) Once upon a time, farming was a blissfully low-tech business on Colombia's northern plains. Duration: 02:05 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:

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