Image adapted from : Capra et al., doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000861, Creative Commons Attribution License(featured image)

Article Writer-   Minakshi  Kumari, MSc. Biotechnology , RCA, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, Udaipur, Rajsthan(India)

Researchers, at the University of Cambridge, have visualized stable structure of the Quadruple- Stranded DNA in healthy human cells, developed by normal cellular processes. Earlier it was seen in the cancerous cells and in lab-based chemistry experiments.  DNA consists of four bases – Adenine, Cytosine, Thymine, and Guanine. Since Guanine is the only base having property to bond with itself, it led to the creation of a Quadruple-stranded DNA structure by forming a square from four Guanine bases.

This work provided evidence to the researchers about the instability of the shape and structure of DNA. Also, they speculated that these new forms of DNA hold the molecule open and facilitates the reading of the genetic code thereby leading to the production of proteins.

Journal Reference:

Di Antonio, M., Ponjavic, A., Radzevičius, A. et al. Single-molecule visualization of DNA G-quadruplex formation in live cells. Nat. Chem. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41557-020-0506-4