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Latest Helicase Stories

Crucial Player For Lyme Disease Transmission Identified
2013-12-20 14:42:45

Public Library of Science Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, hitchhikes in ticks for dissemination to mammalian hosts--including humans. An article in the 19 December issue of PLOS Pathogens identifies HrpA, an RNA helicase, as a crucial player in the transmission from ticks to mammals. George Chaconas, from the University of Calgary, Canada, and a member of the university's Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, and colleagues had previously identified HrpA...

2013-07-16 10:34:16

Breaks in the double-strands of the DNA helix can spell trouble, destabilizing the genome and resulting in changes that drive cancer, antibiotic resistance and, on a more positive note, evolution. Scientists can generate these breaks by a variety of extraneous methods in the laboratory, but Baylor College of Medicine scientists Dr. Philip Hastings and Dr. Susan Rosenberg wondered how such breaks occur without outside help - and how they occur in resting cells not actively making new copies...

New Details Of Biochemical Interactions Necessary For Cell Division Identified
2013-07-15 12:05:33

DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory Building on earlier work exploring the complex choreography by which intricate cellular proteins interact with and copy DNA prior to cell division, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborators have captured a key step-molecular images showing how the enzyme that unwinds the DNA double helix gets drawn to and wrapped around its target. Details of the research, published in the journal Nature Structural...

2013-04-19 17:55:22

Scientists have revealed how a bacterial enzyme has evolved an energy-efficient method to move long distances along DNA. The findings, published in Science, present further insight into the coupling of chemical and mechanical energy by a class of enzymes called helicases, a widely-distributed group of proteins, which in human cells are implicated in some cancers. The new helicase mechanism discovered in this study, led by researchers from the University of Bristol and the Technische...

2012-09-03 11:23:39

DEAD-box proteins function as recycling nanopistons when unwinding RNA Molecular biologists at The University of Texas at Austin have solved one of the mysteries of how double-stranded RNA is remodeled inside cells in both their normal and disease states. The discovery may have implications for treating cancer and viruses in humans. The research, which was published this week in Nature, found that DEAD-box proteins, which are ancient enzymes found in all forms of life, function as...

2011-09-19 07:54:41

With an eye toward understanding DNA replication, Cornell researchers have learned how a helicase enzyme works to actually unzip the two strands of DNA. (Nature, online Sept. 18, 2011.) At the heart of many metabolic processes, including DNA replication, are enzymes called helicases. Acting like motors, these proteins travel along one side of double-stranded DNA, prompting the strands to "zip" apart. What had been a mystery was the exact mechanics of this vital biological process...

2010-11-15 21:42:10

Biologists at the University of California, San Diego have found another member in a new class of cellular motor proteins that rewind and seal together sections of the double-stranded DNA molecule that occasionally but perilously become unwound. Their discovery, which provides a promising new avenue for the development of drugs that kill cancer cells, is detailed in a paper published in this week's early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The same...

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2009-11-24 12:23:36

The atomic-level action of a remarkable class of ring-shaped protein motors has been uncovered by researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) using a state-of-the-art protein crystallography beamline at the Advanced Light Source (ALS). These protein motors play pivotal roles in gene expression and replication, and are vital to the survival of all biological cells, as well as infectious agents, such as the human papillomavirus, which has been linked to cervical...

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2008-10-31 11:09:10

Two biologists at the University of California, San Diego have discovered the first of a new class of cellular motor proteins that "rewind" sections of the double-stranded DNA molecule that become unwound, like the tangled ribbons from a cassette tape, in "bubbles" that prevent critical genes from being expressed. "When your DNA gets stuck in the unwound position, your cells are in big trouble, and in humans, that ultimately leads to death" said Jim Kadonaga, a professor of biology at UCSD...

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2008-02-18 13:27:16

Enzymes called helicases play a key role in human health, according to Maria Spies, a University of Illinois biochemistry professor."DNA helicases act as critical components in many molecular machineries orchestrating DNA repair in the cell." she said. "Multiple diseases including cancer and aging are associated with malfunctions in these enzymes."Spies' laboratory undertook a recent study of an enzyme, called Rad3, which defines a group of DNA helicases characterized by a unique structural...


Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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