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A New Technology Can Redirect Proteins Towards Specific Areas of Genome

Update Date: Jul 11, 2014 08:25 AM EDT
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Researchers have reprogrammed the binding of a protein called BuD to DNA in order to redirect it towards specific DNA regions, according to a new study. 

Researchers said the findings of the study  "will allow us to modify and edit the instructions contained in the genome to treat genetic diseases or to develop genetically-modified organisms." 

The press release further added that the possibility of making modifications to the genome accordingly will not only benefit synthetic biology but can also be helpful in the treatment of human illness. 

Researchers preferred BuDs because of their high specificity property. BuDs are able to differentiate DNA sequences that differ only in two nucleotides. 

"This high specificity acts as a GPS that allows them to find their destinations within the intricate genome map", said Montoya in the press release, adding that: "They are very versatile and easy to reprogram in comparison with other proteins used to the same end."

Researchers have also redesigned BuDs that are capable to recognizing the areas of the genome close to mutations responsible for sickle-cell disease. "The linking of DNA repair proteins to these redesigned BuDs could serve to correct genetic alterations in patients with this disease,"researchers added.

Study has been published in the journal Acta Crystallographica, Section D: Biological Crystallography.

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