ADVERTISEMENT
2 /3 FREE ARTICLES LEFT THIS MONTH Remaining
Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.

If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.

ENJOY UNLIMITED ACCES TO C&EN

Biological Chemistry

Methylation Mimic Silences DNA Targets

July 2, 2007 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 85, ISSUE 27

Nature turns off transcription of a gene by adding a methyl group to the gene. A new silencing technique puts that same ability in the hands of scientists. Cells rely on methyltransferases to recognize a specific DNA sequence and then attach a methyl group to one of its bases. Carlos F. Barbas III and Wataru Nomura of Scripps Research Institute have designed a self-assembling, semisynthetic methyltransferase to mimic this behavior at a specific DNA site in bacteria (J. Am. Chem. Soc., DOI: 10.1021/ja0705588). In their system, DNA binding of artificial zinc finger proteins (shown, green) brings together two fragments (orange) of methyltransferase, which then assemble into the active enzyme. The enzyme subsequently transfers a methyl group to a cytosine in the region between the two DNA binding sites. Different zinc finger proteins could be prepared to bind other DNA sequences, potentially making the technique broadly applicable for therapeutic gene silencing.

X

Article:

This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment