Reported by: Dr. Venkat S. Karra, Ph.D
Biophysicists unravel secrets of genetic switch
When an invading bacterium or virus starts rummaging through the contents of a cell nucleus, using proteins like tiny hands to rearrange the host’s DNA strands, it can alter the host’s biological course. The invading proteins use specific binding, firmly grabbing onto particular sequences of DNA, to bend, kink and twist the DNA strands. The invaders also use non-specific binding to grasp any part of a DNA strand, but these seemingly random bonds are weak.
Emory University biophysicists have experimentally demonstrated, for the first time, how the nonspecific binding of a protein known as the lambda repressor, or C1 protein, bends DNA and helps it close a loop that switches off virulence. The researchers also captured the first measurements of that compaction.
Their results, published in Physical Review E, support the idea that nonspecific binding is not so random after all, and plays a critical role in whether a pathogen remains dormant or turns virulent.
Read more at:
- Biophysicists unravel secrets of genetic switch (esciencenews.com)
- Biophysicists unravel secrets of genetic switch (sciencedaily.com)
- Biophysicists unravel secrets of genetic switch (eurekalert.org)
- Scientists Prove DNA Can Be Reprogrammed by Words and Frequencies (cntrovrc.wordpress.com)
- Biophysicists unravel secrets of genetic switch (phys.org)
- New type of double-stranded DNA structure discovered (sott.net)