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The DNA double-strand break process visualized for the first time

Scientists from the (), led by , 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.

[Enzyme I-DmoI]
The enzyme I-DmoI (purple) is specifically associated to the double strand of DNA (yellow and green).
Credit: CNIO


The study was carried out in collaboration with ’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

Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncologicas (CNIO)