Scientists from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), led by Guillermo Montoya, have developed a method for producing biological crystals that has allowed scientists to observe — for the first time — DNA double chain breaks. They have also developed a computer simulation that makes this process, which lasts in the order of millionths of a second, visible to the human eye. The study is published by the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.
The enzyme I-DmoI (purple) is specifically associated to the double strand of DNA (yellow and green).
The study was carried out in collaboration with Modesto Orozco’s computational group at IRB Barcelona, and has been funded by the Ministry of Economy & Competitiveness and the Ramón Areces Foundation.
Reference article: Visualizing phosphodiester-bond hydrolysis by an endonuclease. Rafael Molina, Stefano Stella, Pilar Redondo, Hansel Gomez, María José Marcaida, Modesto Orozco, Jesús Prieto & Guillermo Montoya. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology (2014). doi: 10.1038/nsmb.2932