Take that, double helix

Left: a G-tetrad. Right: an intramolecular G-quadruplex

Left: a G-tetrad. Right: an intramolecular G-quadruplex

Sure, two strands of DNA are pretty impressive, but what about four strands? Scientists at Cambridge University found that not only does it exist, it exists in functioning human cells.

Researchers who published the finding in Nature Chemistry are calling the molecule the G-quadruplex. “G” refers to the DNA base guanine, since these quadruplexes tend to form when there is a lot of guanine present. The four-helix molecule has been seen before in microscopic organisms called ciliates, but this is the first time they’ve been found in human cells.

Authors of the study believe the G-quadruplex might have some link to cancer, and will be experimenting with them more to possibly formulate new treatments.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s