Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Click chemistry could provide total chemical DNA synthesis, study shows

Date:
February 7, 2014
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
An interdisciplinary study has shown for the first time that 'click chemistry' can be used to assemble DNA that is functional in human cells, which paves the way for a purely chemical method for gene synthesis. Human cells can still read through strands of DNA correctly despite being stitched together using a linker not found in nature.

The artificially linked DNA was created by joining oligonucleotides using click chemistry -- chemistry tailored to mimic nature which generates substances quickly and reliably by joining small units together.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Southampton

An interdisciplinary study led by Dr Ali Tavassoli, a Reader in chemical biology at the University of Southampton, has shown for the first time that 'click chemistry' can be used to assemble DNA that is functional in human cells, which paves the way for a purely chemical method for gene synthesis.

Writing in Angewandte Chemie International Edition Dr Tavassoli's team and his collaborators, Dr Jeremy Blaydes and Professor Tom Brown, show that human cells can still read through strands of DNA correctly despite being stitched together using a linker not found in nature.

The artificially linked DNA was created by joining oligonucleotides using click chemistry -- chemistry tailored to mimic nature which generates substances quickly and reliably by joining small units together.

This click technique is highly efficient and boasts a number of advantages over the usual approaches to assembling DNA strands in the lab using a combination of DNA synthesis, PCR amplification and enzymatic ligation.

"As chemists we always sought to synthesise long strands of DNA but have been limited by our assumption that the phosphodiester bond is necessary for DNA to function in cells," says Dr Tavassoli. The DNA backbone is made up of pentose sugars and phosphate groups that stitch the nucleotides together using phosphodiester bonds. This backbone acts as the scaffold for the four bases that make up the genetic code.

The click DNA approach relies on a rapid and efficient stitching together of modified DNA strands using the copper-catalysed alkyne-azide cycloaddition reaction. Click-linking DNA leaves behind a triazole group in the backbone and it was feared that cellular machinery would be unable to read these unnaturally joined DNA strands. The new study demonstrated error-free transcription in human cells, the first example of a non-natural DNA linker working correctly in eukaryotic cells.

"This is important because it shows that we don't have to stick to the phosphodiester backbone of the DNA at the site of DNA ligation," Dr Tavassoli explains. "This suggests that we can replace the enzymatic methods for DNA assembly and DNA ligation with highly efficient chemical reactions."

"This is a mind blowing advance that demonstrates chemistry's power to manipulate nature's nature," comments Nobel laureate Barry Sharpless at the Scripps Research Institute, US, who first described the click chemistry process. "I only dreamed I'd get to see click chemistry do this in my lifetime. It is a marvellous achievement."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Charles N. Birts, A. Pia Sanzone, Afaf H. El-Sagheer, Jeremy P. Blaydes, Tom Brown, Ali Tavassoli. Transcription of Click-Linked DNA in Human Cells. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/anie.201308691

Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Click chemistry could provide total chemical DNA synthesis, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140207083828.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2014, February 7). Click chemistry could provide total chemical DNA synthesis, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140207083828.htm
University of Southampton. "Click chemistry could provide total chemical DNA synthesis, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140207083828.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lithium Battery 'Holy Grail' Could Provide 4 Times The Power

Lithium Battery 'Holy Grail' Could Provide 4 Times The Power

Newsy (July 28, 2014) Stanford University published its findings for a "pure" lithium ion battery that could have our everyday devices and electric cars running longer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
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