Saturday, May 19, 2012

Light switch for gene expression with potential use in therapeutics

Scientists from  North Carolina State University have identified light-activated molecules to turn gene expression on and off. Triplex-forming oligonucleotides (TFOs) are commonly used molecules that can prevent gene transcription by binding to double-stranded DNA

A light-activated “cage” was attached to a Triplex-forming oligonucleotides. In the absence of light, transcription activity is 100 percent. When exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, the cage is

removed, and the Triplex-forming oligonucleotides is free to bind with DNA, inhibiting transcription of the gene of interest. A caged inhibitor strand was attached to the triple helix forming oligonucleotides. In the absence of UV light, the TFO behaves normally, binding to DNA and preventing gene expression. However, when exposed to UV light, the caged inhibitor activates and stops the TFO from binding with DNA, turning gene transcription on.  In short, Scientists have  created a tool that allows for the light-activation of genetic transcription.

(Credit: A. Deiters/ACS Chemical Biology)

[Read this article for details] .
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  1. its awesome and its just a beginning foot step towards astrogenetics