New four-stranded structure that comes and goes in the DNA

New four-stranded structure that comes and goes in the DNA. Without precedent for the world, UNSW researchers have identified another DNA structure – called the I-motif, a twisted 'bunch' of DNA inside cells.

Without precedent for the world, UNSW researchers have identified another DNA structure – called the I-motif, a twisted 'bunch' of DNA inside cells. Scientists from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research have made this discovery by directly seeing i-motif inside living cells. Their work is published today in the leading journal Nature Chemistry.



Our DNA lies someplace inside the cells in our body. The information in the DNA code – every one of the 6 billion A, C, G and T letters– give correct guidelines to how our bodies are fabricated, and how they work. 

The notorious 'twofold helix' territory of DNA has ca­ptured the general population creative vitality since 1953 when James Watson and Francis Crick extensively uncovered the structure of DNA. For any situation, it's as of now realized that short extends of DNA can exist in different shapes, in the lab at any rate – and researchers assume that these diverse shapes may accept an imperative part in how and when the DNA code is 'read'. 

The new shape has all the earmarks of being through and through unique to the twofold stranded DNA two-fold helix. 

Associate Professor Daniel Christ, Head of the Antibody Therapeutics Lab at Garvan said, "When the majority of us think of DNA, we think of the twofold helix. This new research reminds us that very surprising DNA structures exist and could well be important for our cells." 

Associate Professor Marcel Dinger, Head of the Kinghorn Center for Clinical Genomics at Garvan, said, "The i-motif is a four-stranded 'bunch' of DNA. In the bunch structure, C letters on a similar strand of DNA bind to each other – so this is altogether different from a two-fold helix, where 'letters' on opposite strands recognize each other, and where Cs bind to Gs." 

To identify the i-motifs inside cells, the researchers built up a precise new instrument – a section of an antibody atom – that could specifically recognize and connect to i-motifs with a high affinity. Until now, the absence of an antibody that is specific for i-motifs has seriously hampered the understanding of their part. 

With the new instrument, specialists uncovered the territory of 'I-motifs' in an extent of human cell lines. Utilizing fluorescence strategies to pinpoint where the I-themes were discovered, they recognized various spots of green inside the centre, which demonstrate the situation of I-motifs. 

Dr Mahdi Zeraati, whose research underpins the investigation's findings said, "What excited us more than anything is that we could see the green spots – the i-motifs – appearing and disappearing after some time, so we realize that they are forming, dissolving and forming again." 

The scientists demonstrated that I-motifs generally shape at a specific point in the cell's 'life cycle' – the late G1 phase when DNA is generally speaking effectively 'read'. They likewise demonstrated that I-motifs appear in some promoter districts – regions of DNA that control whether qualities are turned on or off – and furthermore in telomeres, the 'end segments' of chromosomes that are critical in the ageing procedure. 

Dr Zeraati says: "We think the coming and going of the i-motifs is a sign of what they do. It appears to be likely that they are there to help switch genes on or off, and to influence whether a gene is actively perused or not." 

Associate Professor Christ says: "We likewise think the transient idea of the i-motifs explains why they have been so extremely difficult to track down in cells until now."

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Scien-Tech News: New four-stranded structure that comes and goes in the DNA
New four-stranded structure that comes and goes in the DNA
New four-stranded structure that comes and goes in the DNA. Without precedent for the world, UNSW researchers have identified another DNA structure – called the I-motif, a twisted 'bunch' of DNA inside cells.
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