Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Technology developed to redirect proteins towards specific areas of genome

Date:
July 10, 2014
Source:
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO)
Summary:
A research group has managed to reprogram the binding of a protein called BuD to DNA in order to redirect it towards specific DNA regions. The lead researcher says the discovery "will allow us to modify and edit the instructions contained in the genome to treat genetic diseases or to develop genetically-modified organisms."

A change in the BuDs structure: before (left) and after (right) recognizing a specific DNA sequence.
Credit: Guillermo Montoya. CNIO

The Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) Macromolecular Crystallography Group has managed to reprogramme the binding of a protein called BuD to DNA in order to redirect it towards specific DNA regions. Guillermo Montoya, the researcher who led the study, says the discovery: "will allow us to modify and edit the instructions contained in the genome to treat genetic diseases or to develop genetically-modified organisms." The study is published in the journal Acta Crystallographica, Section D: Biological Crystallography.

The possibility of making ΰ la carte modifications to the genome of living organisms could have a wide variety of applications, not only in the field of synthetic biology -- the science that seeks to create new living beings or improve existing ones for their biotechnological use -- but also for the treatment of human illnesses.

To achieve this, several researchers from around the world have focused on the proteins that bind to the DNA in very specific ways: their manipulation to direct them towards specific places in the genome, linked to their binding to genetic effectors (DNA repair or activator proteins, among others), could serve to modify DNA messages or to redesign genetic circuits as needed.

The CNIO team has deciphered the DNA binding code of BurrH, a new protein that was identified in Burkholderia rhizoxinica bacteria whose BuD domain specifically binds to the genome. To get there, the researchers have resolved the complete three-dimensional structure of the protein using the biophysical technique known as X-ray crystallography.

The main advantage of BuDs lies in their high specificity: they are able to distinguish DNA sequences that differ only in two nucleotides (the letters that make up the DNA). "This high specificity acts as a GPS that allows them to find their destinations within the intricate genome map," says Montoya, adding that: "They are very versatile and easy to reprogram in comparison with other proteins used to the same end."

Montoya's group has redesigned BuDs that are capable of recognizing the areas of the genome close to mutations responsible for sickle-cell disease, a pathology caused by modifications in the beta globin gene that produce alterations in red blood cells. "The linking of DNA repair proteins to these redesigned BuDs could serve to correct genetic alterations in patients with this disease," say the researchers.

Montoya says that several companies are already interested in this new technology: "Our tool, as well as being used to treat genetic disease, could be used to genetically modify micro-organisms targeting metabolite synthesis needed to produce biofuels, for example."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stefano Stella, Rafael Molina, Blanca Lσpez-Mιndez, Alexandre Juillerat, Claudia Bertonati, Fayza Daboussi, Ramon Campos-Olivas, Phillippe Duchateau, Guillermo Montoya. BuD, a helix–loop–helix DNA-binding domain for genome modification. Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography, 2014; 70 (7): 2042 DOI: 10.1107/S1399004714011183

Cite This Page:

Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO). "Technology developed to redirect proteins towards specific areas of genome." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710141632.htm>.
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO). (2014, July 10). Technology developed to redirect proteins towards specific areas of genome. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710141632.htm
Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO). "Technology developed to redirect proteins towards specific areas of genome." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710141632.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) — The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. 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