Nucleic Acid Conformation
The characteristic 3-dimensional shape of a protein, including the secondary, supersecondary (motifs), tertiary (domains) and quaternary structure of the peptide chain. PROTEIN STRUCTURE, QUATERNARY describes the conformation assumed by multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).
Peptide Nucleic Acids
DNA analogs containing neutral amide backbone linkages composed of aminoethyl glycine units instead of the usual phosphodiester linkage of deoxyribose groups. Peptide nucleic acids have high biological stability and higher affinity for complementary DNA or RNA sequences than analogous DNA oligomers.
Nucleic Acid Probes
Nucleic acid which complements a specific mRNA or DNA molecule, or fragment thereof; used for hybridization studies in order to identify microorganisms and for genetic studies.
A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).
Molecular Sequence Data
Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.
Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques
Nucleic Acid Denaturation
Disruption of the secondary structure of nucleic acids by heat, extreme pH or chemical treatment. Double strand DNA is "melted" by dissociation of the non-covalent hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions. Denatured DNA appears to be a single-stranded flexible structure. The effects of denaturation on RNA are similar though less pronounced and largely reversible.
Amino Acid Sequence
Nucleic Acid Hybridization
Widely used technique which exploits the ability of complementary sequences in single-stranded DNAs or RNAs to pair with each other to form a double helix. Hybridization can take place between two complimentary DNA sequences, between a single-stranded DNA and a complementary RNA, or between two RNA sequences. The technique is used to detect and isolate specific sequences, measure homology, or define other characteristics of one or both strands. (Kendrew, Encyclopedia of Molecular Biology, 1994, p503)
The study of crystal structure using X-RAY DIFFRACTION techniques. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
A polynucleotide consisting essentially of chains with a repeating backbone of phosphate and ribose units to which nitrogenous bases are attached. RNA is unique among biological macromolecules in that it can encode genetic information, serve as an abundant structural component of cells, and also possesses catalytic activity. (Rieger et al., Glossary of Genetics: Classical and Molecular, 5th ed)
Protein Structure, Secondary
The level of protein structure in which regular hydrogen-bond interactions within contiguous stretches of polypeptide chain give rise to alpha helices, beta strands (which align to form beta sheets) or other types of coils. This is the first folding level of protein conformation.
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Spectroscopic method of measuring the magnetic moment of elementary particles such as atomic nuclei, protons or electrons. It is employed in clinical applications such as NMR Tomography (MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING).
A rigorously mathematical analysis of energy relationships (heat, work, temperature, and equilibrium). It describes systems whose states are determined by thermal parameters, such as temperature, in addition to mechanical and electromagnetic parameters. (From Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 12th ed)
Protein Structure, Tertiary
The level of protein structure in which combinations of secondary protein structures (alpha helices, beta sheets, loop regions, and motifs) pack together to form folded shapes called domains. Disulfide bridges between cysteines in two different parts of the polypeptide chain along with other interactions between the chains play a role in the formation and stabilization of tertiary structure. Small proteins usually consist of only one domain but larger proteins may contain a number of domains connected by segments of polypeptide chain which lack regular secondary structure.
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular
NMR spectroscopy on small- to medium-size biological macromolecules. This is often used for structural investigation of proteins and nucleic acids, and often involves more than one isotope.
A species of gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria (GRAM-NEGATIVE FACULTATIVELY ANAEROBIC RODS) commonly found in the lower part of the intestine of warm-blooded animals. It is usually nonpathogenic, but some strains are known to produce DIARRHEA and pyogenic infections. Pathogenic strains (virotypes) are classified by their specific pathogenic mechanisms such as toxins (ENTEROTOXIGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI), etc.
The property of objects that determines the direction of heat flow when they are placed in direct thermal contact. The temperature is the energy of microscopic motions (vibrational and translational) of the particles of atoms.
Measurement of the intensity and quality of fluorescence.
A molecule that binds to another molecule, used especially to refer to a small molecule that binds specifically to a larger molecule, e.g., an antigen binding to an antibody, a hormone or neurotransmitter binding to a receptor, or a substrate or allosteric effector binding to an enzyme. Ligands are also molecules that donate or accept a pair of electrons to form a coordinate covalent bond with the central metal atom of a coordination complex. (From Dorland, 27th ed)
Members of the class of compounds composed of AMINO ACIDS joined together by peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids into linear, branched or cyclical structures. OLIGOPEPTIDES are composed of approximately 2-12 amino acids. Polypeptides are composed of approximately 13 or more amino acids. PROTEINS are linear polypeptides that are normally synthesized on RIBOSOMES.
Polymerase Chain Reaction
In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.
Molecular Dynamics Simulation
A computer simulation developed to study the motion of molecules over a period of time.
Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
Variation in a population's DNA sequence that is detected by determining alterations in the conformation of denatured DNA fragments. Denatured DNA fragments are allowed to renature under conditions that prevent the formation of double-stranded DNA and allow secondary structure to form in single stranded fragments. These fragments are then run through polyacrylamide gels to detect variations in the secondary structure that is manifested as an alteration in migration through the gels.
Linear POLYPEPTIDES that are synthesized on RIBOSOMES and may be further modified, crosslinked, cleaved, or assembled into complex proteins with several subunits. The specific sequence of AMINO ACIDS determines the shape the polypeptide will take, during PROTEIN FOLDING, and the function of the protein.
Ribonucleic acid that makes up the genetic material of viruses.
Self-Sustained Sequence Replication
A single chain of deoxyribonucleotides that occurs in some bacteria and viruses. It usually exists as a covalently closed circle.
Protein Structure, Quaternary
The characteristic 3-dimensional shape and arrangement of multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).
The scattering of x-rays by matter, especially crystals, with accompanying variation in intensity due to interference effects. Analysis of the crystal structure of materials is performed by passing x-rays through them and registering the diffraction image of the rays (CRYSTALLOGRAPHY, X-RAY). (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
Deoxyribonucleic acid that makes up the genetic material of viruses.
Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.
Nucleic Acid Heteroduplexes
Double-stranded nucleic acid molecules (DNA-DNA or DNA-RNA) which contain regions of nucleotide mismatches (non-complementary). In vivo, these heteroduplexes can result from mutation or genetic recombination; in vitro, they are formed by nucleic acid hybridization. Electron microscopic analysis of the resulting heteroduplexes facilitates the mapping of regions of base sequence homology of nucleic acids.
Nucleotide sequences, generated by iterative rounds of SELEX APTAMER TECHNIQUE, that bind to a target molecule specifically and with high affinity.
Agents that emit light after excitation by light. The wave length of the emitted light is usually longer than that of the incident light. Fluorochromes are substances that cause fluorescence in other substances, i.e., dyes used to mark or label other compounds with fluorescent tags.
Higher-order DNA and RNA structures formed from guanine-rich sequences. They are formed around a core of at least 2 stacked tetrads of hydrogen-bonded GUANINE bases. They can be formed from one two or four separate strands of DNA (or RNA) and can display a wide variety of topologies, which are a consequence of various combinations of strand direction, length, and sequence. (From Nucleic Acids Res. 2006;34(19):5402-15)
Sensitivity and Specificity
Species- or subspecies-specific DNA (including COMPLEMENTARY DNA; conserved genes, whole chromosomes, or whole genomes) used in hybridization studies in order to identify microorganisms, to measure DNA-DNA homologies, to group subspecies, etc. The DNA probe hybridizes with a specific mRNA, if present. Conventional techniques used for testing for the hybridization product include dot blot assays, Southern blot assays, and DNA:RNA hybrid-specific antibody tests. Conventional labels for the DNA probe include the radioisotope labels 32P and 125I and the chemical label biotin. The use of DNA probes provides a specific, sensitive, rapid, and inexpensive replacement for cell culture techniques for diagnosing infections.
Amino Acid Substitution
The naturally occurring or experimentally induced replacement of one or more AMINO ACIDS in a protein with another. If a functionally equivalent amino acid is substituted, the protein may retain wild-type activity. Substitution may also diminish, enhance, or eliminate protein function. Experimentally induced substitution is often used to study enzyme activities and binding site properties.
Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
The arrangement of two or more amino acid or base sequences from an organism or organisms in such a way as to align areas of the sequences sharing common properties. The degree of relatedness or homology between the sequences is predicted computationally or statistically based on weights assigned to the elements aligned between the sequences. This in turn can serve as a potential indicator of the genetic relatedness between the organisms.
Spectrum Analysis, Raman
Liquids that dissolve other substances (solutes), generally solids, without any change in chemical composition, as, water containing sugar. (Grant & Hackh's Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed)
The assembly of the QUATERNARY PROTEIN STRUCTURE of multimeric proteins (MULTIPROTEIN COMPLEXES) from their composite PROTEIN SUBUNITS.
The process of cleaving a chemical compound by the addition of a molecule of water.
Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer
Purine or pyrimidine bases attached to a ribose or deoxyribose. (From King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)
The most common form of DNA found in nature. It is a right-handed helix with 10 base pairs per turn, a pitch of 0.338 nm per base pair and a helical diameter of 1.9 nm.
The formation of crystalline substances from solutions or melts. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
An essential amino acid that is necessary for normal growth in infants and for NITROGEN balance in adults. It is a precursor of INDOLE ALKALOIDS in plants. It is a precursor of SEROTONIN (hence its use as an antidepressant and sleep aid). It can be a precursor to NIACIN, albeit inefficiently, in mammals.
Extrachromosomal, usually CIRCULAR DNA molecules that are self-replicating and transferable from one organism to another. They are found in a variety of bacterial, archaeal, fungal, algal, and plant species. They are used in GENETIC ENGINEERING as CLONING VECTORS.
Compounds and molecular complexes that consist of very large numbers of atoms and are generally over 500 kDa in size. In biological systems macromolecular substances usually can be visualized using ELECTRON MICROSCOPY and are distinguished from ORGANELLES by the lack of a membrane structure.
Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
The thermodynamic interaction between a substance and WATER.
A group of ribonucleotides (up to 12) in which the phosphate residues of each ribonucleotide act as bridges in forming diester linkages between the ribose moieties.
A group of 13 or more ribonucleotides in which the phosphate residues of each ribonucleotide act as bridges in forming diester linkages between the ribose moieties.
Scattering, Small Angle
Scattering of a beam of electromagnetic or acoustic RADIATION, or particles, at small angles by particles or cavities whose dimensions are many times as large as the wavelength of the radiation or the de Broglie wavelength of the scattered particles. Also know as low angle scattering. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed) Small angle scattering (SAS) techniques, small angle neutron (SANS), X-ray (SAXS), and light (SALS, or just LS) scattering, are used to characterize objects on a nanoscale.
Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
Synthetic or natural oligonucleotides used in hybridization studies in order to identify and study specific nucleic acid fragments, e.g., DNA segments near or within a specific gene locus or gene. The probe hybridizes with a specific mRNA, if present. Conventional techniques used for testing for the hybridization product include dot blot assays, Southern blot assays, and DNA:RNA hybrid-specific antibody tests. Conventional labels for the probe include the radioisotope labels 32P and 125I and the chemical label biotin.
Amino Acid Motifs
The modification of the reactivity of ENZYMES by the binding of effectors to sites (ALLOSTERIC SITES) on the enzymes other than the substrate BINDING SITES.
The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.
Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
Escherichia coli Proteins
Proteins obtained from ESCHERICHIA COLI.
Molecules of DNA that possess enzymatic activity.
The study of CHEMICAL PHENOMENA and processes in terms of the underlying PHYSICAL PHENOMENA and processes.
Organic compounds that generally contain an amino (-NH2) and a carboxyl (-COOH) group. Twenty alpha-amino acids are the subunits which are polymerized to form proteins.
Presence of warmth or heat or a temperature notably higher than an accustomed norm.
Reagents with two reactive groups, usually at opposite ends of the molecule, that are capable of reacting with and thereby forming bridges between side chains of amino acids in proteins; the locations of naturally reactive areas within proteins can thereby be identified; may also be used for other macromolecules, like glycoproteins, nucleic acids, or other.
Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
The sequential correspondence of nucleotides in one nucleic acid molecule with those of another nucleic acid molecule. Sequence homology is an indication of the genetic relatedness of different organisms and gene function.
Sequence Analysis, DNA
A multistage process that includes cloning, physical mapping, subcloning, determination of the DNA SEQUENCE, and information analysis.
An isoform of DNA that occurs in an environment rich in SODIUM and POTASSIUM ions. It is a right-handed helix with 11 base pairs per turn, a pitch of 0.256 nm per base pair and a helical diameter of 2.3 nm.
The measurement of the quantity of heat involved in various processes, such as chemical reactions, changes of state, and formations of solutions, or in the determination of the heat capacities of substances. The fundamental unit of measurement is the joule or the calorie (4.184 joules). (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
The property of emitting radiation while being irradiated. The radiation emitted is usually of longer wavelength than that incident or absorbed, e.g., a substance can be irradiated with invisible radiation and emit visible light. X-ray fluorescence is used in diagnosis.
Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.
Molecular Probe Techniques
Nucleic Acid Renaturation
RNA that has catalytic activity. The catalytic RNA sequence folds to form a complex surface that can function as an enzyme in reactions with itself and other molecules. It may function even in the absence of protein. There are numerous examples of RNA species that are acted upon by catalytic RNA, however the scope of this enzyme class is not limited to a particular type of substrate.
The molecular designing of drugs for specific purposes (such as DNA-binding, enzyme inhibition, anti-cancer efficacy, etc.) based on knowledge of molecular properties such as activity of functional groups, molecular geometry, and electronic structure, and also on information cataloged on analogous molecules. Drug design is generally computer-assisted molecular modeling and does not include pharmacokinetics, dosage analysis, or drug administration analysis.
A non-aqueous co-solvent that serves as tool to study protein folding. It is also used in various pharmaceutical, chemical and engineering applications.
The small RNA molecules, 73-80 nucleotides long, that function during translation (TRANSLATION, GENETIC) to align AMINO ACIDS at the RIBOSOMES in a sequence determined by the mRNA (RNA, MESSENGER). There are about 30 different transfer RNAs. Each recognizes a specific CODON set on the mRNA through its own ANTICODON and as aminoacyl tRNAs (RNA, TRANSFER, AMINO ACYL), each carries a specific amino acid to the ribosome to add to the elongating peptide chains.
Structural Homology, Protein
Immobilized Nucleic Acids
DNA or RNA bound to a substrate thereby having fixed positions.
Databases, Nucleic Acid
RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.
Measurement of the polarization of fluorescent light from solutions or microscopic specimens. It is used to provide information concerning molecular size, shape, and conformation, molecular anisotropy, electronic energy transfer, molecular interaction, including dye and coenzyme binding, and the antigen-antibody reaction.
Enzymes which catalyze the hydrolases of ester bonds within DNA. EC 3.1.-.
The interaction of two or more substrates or ligands with the same binding site. The displacement of one by the other is used in quantitative and selective affinity measurements.
Peptides composed of between two and twelve amino acids.
A serine endopeptidase that is formed from TRYPSINOGEN in the pancreas. It is converted into its active form by ENTEROPEPTIDASE in the small intestine. It catalyzes hydrolysis of the carboxyl group of either arginine or lysine. EC 184.108.40.206.
Small proteinaceous infectious particles which resist inactivation by procedures that modify NUCLEIC ACIDS and contain an abnormal isoform of a cellular protein which is a major and necessary component. The abnormal (scrapie) isoform is PrPSc (PRPSC PROTEINS) and the cellular isoform PrPC (PRPC PROTEINS). The primary amino acid sequence of the two isoforms is identical. Human diseases caused by prions include CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB SYNDROME; GERSTMANN-STRAUSSLER SYNDROME; and INSOMNIA, FATAL FAMILIAL.
SELEX Aptamer Technique
The relative amounts of the PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in a nucleic acid.
Indicators and Reagents
Substances used for the detection, identification, analysis, etc. of chemical, biological, or pathologic processes or conditions. Indicators are substances that change in physical appearance, e.g., color, at or approaching the endpoint of a chemical titration, e.g., on the passage between acidity and alkalinity. Reagents are substances used for the detection or determination of another substance by chemical or microscopical means, especially analysis. Types of reagents are precipitants, solvents, oxidizers, reducers, fluxes, and colorimetric reagents. (From Grant & Hackh's Chemical Dictionary, 5th ed, p301, p499)
Process of generating a genetic MUTATION. It may occur spontaneously or be induced by MUTAGENS.
Surface Plasmon Resonance
A biosensing technique in which biomolecules capable of binding to specific analytes or ligands are first immobilized on one side of a metallic film. Light is then focused on the opposite side of the film to excite the surface plasmons, that is, the oscillations of free electrons propagating along the film's surface. The refractive index of light reflecting off this surface is measured. When the immobilized biomolecules are bound by their ligands, an alteration in surface plasmons on the opposite side of the film is created which is directly proportional to the change in bound, or adsorbed, mass. Binding is measured by changes in the refractive index. The technique is used to study biomolecular interactions, such as antigen-antibody binding.
A chemical reaction in which an electron is transferred from one molecule to another. The electron-donating molecule is the reducing agent or reductant; the electron-accepting molecule is the oxidizing agent or oxidant. Reducing and oxidizing agents function as conjugate reductant-oxidant pairs or redox pairs (Lehninger, Principles of Biochemistry, 1982, p471).
The study of the structure, growth, function, genetics, and reproduction of viruses, and VIRUS DISEASES.
RNA, usually prepared by transcription from cloned DNA, which complements a specific mRNA or DNA and is generally used for studies of virus genes, distribution of specific RNA in tissues and cells, integration of viral DNA into genomes, transcription, etc. Whereas DNA PROBES are preferred for use at a more macroscopic level for detection of the presence of DNA/RNA from specific species or subspecies, RNA probes are preferred for genetic studies. Conventional labels for the RNA probe include radioisotope labels 32P and 125I and the chemical label biotin. RNA probes may be further divided by category into plus-sense RNA probes, minus-sense RNA probes, and antisense RNA probes.
Recombinant Fusion Proteins
Recombinant proteins produced by the GENETIC TRANSLATION of fused genes formed by the combination of NUCLEIC ACID REGULATORY SEQUENCES of one or more genes with the protein coding sequences of one or more genes.
An atom or group of atoms that have a positive or negative electric charge due to a gain (negative charge) or loss (positive charge) of one or more electrons. Atoms with a positive charge are known as CATIONS; those with a negative charge are ANIONS.