28 May 2015

Two more nucleotides were added to the genetic alphabet

Two new compounds have been discovered that may be part of DNA

Copper news

Two groups of scientists reported that the DNA double helix may consist not only of known nucleotides – adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C) and thymine (T). According to the authors of the research, there are two other compounds that are also capable of forming a double helix.

It is known that a double-stranded DNA molecule is built according to the type of complementarity, that is, the adenine of one molecule interacts with the thymine of the second DNA molecule, and cytosine forms hydrogen bonds with thymine. According to the data presented in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (Georgiadis et al., Structural Basis for a Six Nucleotide Genetic Alphabet – VM), there are two more types of compounds that can form hydrogen bonds between themselves, ensuring the formation of a double helix.

(Two previous compounds capable of embedding into the DNA helix were reported in the same J.Am.Chem.Soc. in 2008, and in 2014 scientists from the Scripps Research Institute obtained a culture of living cells with four ordinary and two additional "letters" in DNA, d5SICS and DNAm – VM.)

The authors of the study conditionally named these compounds "Z" (6-amino-5-nitro-2(1H)-pyridone) and "P" (2-amino-imidazo-1,3,5-triazine-4(8H)oh). Scientists have found that Z and P are able to form pairs by the type of complementarity, providing the formation of a double helix. In addition, these compounds interact with pairs that are formed by standard nucleotides. The authors of the study were able to obtain a new type of "DNA" in the laboratory, which consisted of six nucleotides – GACTZP. Scientists hope that their research data will expand the possibilities of synthetic biology.

DNA with six nucleotides. Drawing from the American Chemical Society press release
Expanding the code of life with new ‘letters' – VM

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru 28.05.2015

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