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Biological contexts for DNA charge transport chemistry

Merino, Edward J. and Boal, Amie K. and Barton, Jacqueline K. (2008) Biological contexts for DNA charge transport chemistry. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, 12 (2). pp. 229-237. ISSN 1367-5931. PMCID PMC3227530. doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2008.01.046.

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Many experiments have now shown that double helical DNA can serve as a conduit for efficient charge transport (CT) reactions over long distances in vitro. These results prompt the consideration of biological roles for DNA-mediated CT. DNA CT has been demonstrated to occur in biologically relevant environments such as within the mitochondria and nuclei of HeLa cells as well as in isolated nucleosomes. In mitochondria, DNA damage that results from CT is funneled to a crucial regulatory element. Thus, DNA CT provides a strategy to funnel damage to particular sites in the genome. DNA CT might also be important in long-range signaling to DNA-bound proteins. Both DNA repair proteins, containing Fe-S clusters, and the transcription factor, p53, which is regulated through thiol-disulfide switches, can be oxidized from a distance through DNA-mediated CT. These observations highlight a means through which oxidative stress may be chemically signaled in the genome over long distances through CT from guanine radicals to DNA-bound proteins. Moreover, DNA-mediated CT may also play a role in signaling among DNA-binding proteins, as has been proposed as a mechanism for how DNA repair glycosylases more efficiently detect lesions inside the cell.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Boal, Amie K.0000-0002-1234-8472
Barton, Jacqueline K.0000-0001-9883-1600
Additional Information:© 2008 Elsevier B.V. Available online 17 March 2008. We are grateful to NIH (GM49216), for their financial support, including a minority postdoctoral fellowship to EJM, and to the Ralph M Parsons Foundation for a fellowship to AKB. We also thank our many co-workers and collaborators who helped to unravel this fascinating chemistry and biology.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIH Postdoctoral FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Ralph M. Parsons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:2
PubMed Central ID:PMC3227530
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160127-111127271
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Edward J Merino, Amie K Boal, Jacqueline K Barton, Biological contexts for DNA charge transport chemistry, Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, Volume 12, Issue 2, April 2008, Pages 229-237, ISSN 1367-5931, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64010
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:27 Jan 2016 22:44
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:24

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