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.
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.
A strong organic base existing primarily as guanidium ions at physiological pH. It is found in the urine as a normal product of protein metabolism. It is also used in laboratory research as a protein denaturant. (From Martindale, the Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed and Merck Index, 12th ed) It is also used in the treatment of myasthenia and as a fluorescent probe in HPLC.
Nucleic Acid Conformation
Presence of warmth or heat or a temperature notably higher than an accustomed norm.
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 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)
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).
Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques
Calorimetry, Differential Scanning
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.
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)
A compound formed in the liver from ammonia produced by the deamination of amino acids. It is the principal end product of protein catabolism and constitutes about one half of the total urinary solids.
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)
Measurement of the intensity and quality of fluorescence.
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).
The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.
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.
Polymers made up of a few (2-20) nucleotides. In molecular genetics, they refer to a short sequence synthesized to match a region where a mutation is known to occur, and then used as a probe (OLIGONUCLEOTIDE PROBES). (Dorland, 28th ed)
Nucleic Acid Renaturation
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.
Amino Acid Sequence
The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.
Deoxyribonucleic acid that makes up the genetic material of viruses.
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.
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)
A single chain of deoxyribonucleotides that occurs in some bacteria and viruses. It usually exists as a covalently closed circle.
Ribonucleic acid that makes up the genetic material of viruses.
A class of organic compounds which contain an anilino (phenylamino) group linked to a salt or ester of naphthalenesulfonic acid. They are frequently used as fluorescent dyes and sulfhydryl reagents.
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.
The temperature at which a substance changes from one state or conformation of matter to another.
Self-Sustained Sequence Replication
An isothermal in-vitro nucleotide amplification process. The process involves the concomitant action of a RNA-DIRECTED DNA POLYMERASE, a ribonuclease (RIBONUCLEASES), and DNA-DIRECTED RNA POLYMERASES to synthesize large quantities of sequence-specific RNA and DNA molecules.
Enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of ester bonds within RNA. EC 3.1.-.
Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
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)
Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of chemical processes or phenomena; includes the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sensitivity and Specificity
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.
Pairing of purine and pyrimidine bases by HYDROGEN BONDING in double-stranded DNA or RNA.
A basic enzyme that is present in saliva, tears, egg white, and many animal fluids. It functions as an antibacterial agent. The enzyme catalyzes the hydrolysis of 1,4-beta-linkages between N-acetylmuramic acid and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine residues in peptidoglycan and between N-acetyl-D-glucosamine residues in chitodextrin. EC 18.104.22.168.
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.
An enzyme that catalyzes the endonucleolytic cleavage of pancreatic ribonucleic acids to 3'-phosphomono- and oligonucleotides ending in cytidylic or uridylic acids with 2',3'-cyclic phosphate intermediates. EC 22.214.171.124.
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.
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate
An anionic surfactant, usually a mixture of sodium alkyl sulfates, mainly the lauryl; lowers surface tension of aqueous solutions; used as fat emulsifier, wetting agent, detergent in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and toothpastes; also as research tool in protein biochemistry.
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.
Any of the covalently closed DNA molecules found in bacteria, many viruses, mitochondria, plastids, and plasmids. Small, polydisperse circular DNA's have also been observed in a number of eukaryotic organisms and are suggested to have homology with chromosomal DNA and the capacity to be inserted into, and excised from, chromosomal DNA. It is a fragment of DNA formed by a process of looping out and deletion, containing a constant region of the mu heavy chain and the 3'-part of the mu switch region. Circular DNA is a normal product of rearrangement among gene segments encoding the variable regions of immunoglobulin light and heavy chains, as well as the T-cell receptor. (Riger et al., Glossary of Genetics, 5th ed & Segen, Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)
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)
Centrifugation, Density Gradient
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.
The study of CHEMICAL PHENOMENA and processes in terms of the underlying PHYSICAL PHENOMENA and processes.
An enzyme that catalyzes the endonucleolytic cleavage to 3'-phosphomononucleotide and 3'-phospholigonucleotide end-products. It can cause hydrolysis of double- or single-stranded DNA or RNA. (From Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) EC 126.96.36.199.
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.
A family of cellular proteins that mediate the correct assembly or disassembly of polypeptides and their associated ligands. Although they take part in the assembly process, molecular chaperones are not components of the final structures.
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.
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.
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.
A purine base and a fundamental unit of ADENINE NUCLEOTIDES.
Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
Enzymes which catalyze the hydrolases of ester bonds within DNA. EC 3.1.-.
A highly reactive aldehyde gas formed by oxidation or incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons. In solution, it has a wide range of uses: in the manufacture of resins and textiles, as a disinfectant, and as a laboratory fixative or preservative. Formaldehyde solution (formalin) is considered a hazardous compound, and its vapor toxic. (From Reynolds, Martindale The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p717)
An absence of warmth or heat or a temperature notably below an accustomed norm.
Molecules of DNA that possess enzymatic activity.
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 188.8.131.52.
A cationic cytochemical stain specific for cell nuclei, especially DNA. It is used as a supravital stain and in fluorescence cytochemistry. It may cause mutations in microorganisms.
Optical Rotatory Dispersion
Techniques used to separate mixtures of substances based on differences in the relative affinities of the substances for mobile and stationary phases. A mobile phase (fluid or gas) passes through a column containing a stationary phase of porous solid or liquid coated on a solid support. Usage is both analytical for small amounts and preparative for bulk amounts.
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.
A group of atoms or molecules attached to other molecules or cellular structures and used in studying the properties of these molecules and structures. Radioactive DNA or RNA sequences are used in MOLECULAR GENETICS to detect the presence of a complementary sequence by NUCLEIC ACID HYBRIDIZATION.
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.
Genetically engineered MUTAGENESIS at a specific site in the DNA molecule that introduces a base substitution, or an insertion or deletion.
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.
The most abundant form of RNA. Together with proteins, it forms the ribosomes, playing a structural role and also a role in ribosomal binding of mRNA and tRNAs. Individual chains are conventionally designated by their sedimentation coefficients. In eukaryotes, four large chains exist, synthesized in the nucleolus and constituting about 50% of the ribosome. (Dorland, 28th ed)
Viruses whose host is Escherichia coli.
Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.
Immobilized Nucleic Acids
DNA or RNA bound to a substrate thereby having fixed positions.
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.
The process of cleaving a chemical compound by the addition of a molecule of water.
Sequence Analysis, DNA
A multistage process that includes cloning, physical mapping, subcloning, determination of the DNA SEQUENCE, and information analysis.
A trypanocidal agent and possible antiviral agent that is widely used in experimental cell biology and biochemistry. Ethidium has several experimentally useful properties including binding to nucleic acids, noncompetitive inhibition of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, and fluorescence among others. It is most commonly used as the bromide.
Protein Structure, Quaternary
The characteristic 3-dimensional shape and arrangement of multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).
Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
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)