Intellect Networking Project: Lecture "How Proteins 'Read' DNA" >> Karazin University


March 3, 2018

Intellect Networking Project: Lecture "How Proteins 'Read' DNA"

Within the Intellect Networking research and educational project, Karazin University has held the lecture “How Proteins 'Read' DNA".

"When proteins try to "read" DNA, they search for their ideal partner," said Hanna Shestopalova, senior researcher, Head of the Biological Physics Department at O. Ya. Usikov Institute of Radiophysics and Electronics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Professor of the Department of Molecular and Medical Biophysics of the University School of Radiophysics, Biomedical Electronics and Computer Systems.

The lecturer began by asserting that the cell is a nanoworld with nanodevices and nanobjects. Hanna Shestopalova put emphasis on the fact that 65 years ago, the scientists James Watson and Francis Crick made the greatest discovery of the ХХ century: deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the basis of life and has the form of a double helix. This discovery was as significant as Ernest Rutherford’s nuclear model of the atom.

Hanna Shestopalova also described the central dogma of molecular biology —the rule for the transfer of genetic information in living organisms.

To explain how proteins “read” DNA, the lecturer told about the double helix structure and pointed out that each protein finds its unique place in the DNA, that is, a part of the spiral ideally suited to it, forming a bond. This concept is called complementarity.

“All along the entire DNA structure, a spiral can be A-shaped, B-shaped, Z-shaped, which is one of the key factors in "recognizing" its part in a spiral by proteins,” said the researcher.

Hanna Shestopalova finished the lecture by saying that the topic of the human genome is under-explored, so much work on this issue is awaiting for scientists.

At the end, everyone had an opportunity to ask the lecturer questions.

Translation by Veronika Vetukhova

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