Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published April 2008 | public
Journal Article Open

Biological contexts for DNA charge transport chemistry


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.

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.

Attached Files

Accepted Version - nihms-49861.pdf


Files (2.2 MB)
Name Size Download all
2.2 MB Preview Download

Additional details

August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023