DNA: Interactions between Proteins
Deoxyribonucleic Acid is a molecule that contains the genetic makeup of almost all living organisms. While Deoxyribonucleic Acid, or DNA, has been successfully mapped out, many of its interactions with certain proteins and enzymes have not been fully revealed within the atomic level.
The history and mysteries of DNA continue to fascinate biologists and chemists alike. However, we must question, who was the first to discover DNA, and what scientists have done to further enhance our understanding of it? In short, DNA was first isolated by physician Friedrich Miescher in 1869; in 1937, William Astbury became the first person to produce an x-ray diffraction pattern of the DNA molecule. Sixteen years latter, Alfred Hershey and Martha Chase demonstrated DNA as the genetic material of living organisms in the famous Hershey-Chase experiment. However, it was not until James D.Watson and Francis Crick, was the structure of DNA finally discovered. It was from Watson and Crick’s discoveries that the scientific world became familiar with the double helix, or essentially a twisted ladder. Soon enough, DNA was further analyzed. It was later discovered that DNA consisted of the sugar deoxyribose, phosphate, and one of four different nucleic acids: adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine. The three structures together create what became known as a nucleotide. Each
DNA molecule consists of hundreds of these nucleotides, with the only change in nucleic acids, which may be referred to as nitrogenous bases or bases for short. As mentioned before, DNA has the structure of a double helix, and therefore is double stranded with one strand moving from the 5’-3’ and the other moving from 3’-5’. This ultimately concludes that the DNA strands are connected in one way or another. After further experiments by various scientists, it was discovered that each base pair could only bind with its complimentary base pair. Essentially, adenine may only bind with thymine with two hydrogen bonds, and guanine may only bind with cytosine with three hydrogen bonds. In broader perspective, purines may only bond with pyrimidines. Adenine and guanines are the purines, due to their double ring molecular structure, while thymine and cytosine are the pyrimidines due to there single ring structure. In addition the strands of DNA are connected together between base pairs, through Hydrogen bonding. While each base pair may only bind with its complimentary base pair, it is the sequence of the base pairs that creates such genetic diversity amongst living organisms around the world. As scientists further investigate the atomic structure and function of DNA, DNA replication is also being further examined. During DNA replication, multiple enzymes, such as DNA Ligase, DNA Helicase, and DNA polymerase assist in unwinding the DNA double strand into single stranded DNA (essentially an unwinding of the DNA in which the hydrogen bonds are broken...