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DNA in a Tunnel: A Comfy Spot for Recognition - or -The Structure of BsoBI Complexed with DNA. What can we Learn about Function via Structure Determination and how can this be Applied to Bone or Muscle Biology?The structure and function of a biologically active molecule are related. To understand its function, it is necessary (but not always sufficient) to know the structure of the molecule. There are many ways of relating the molecular function with the structure. Mutation analysis can identify pertinent amino acids of an enzyme, or alternatively structure comparison of the of two similar molecules with different function may lead to understanding which parts are responsible for a functional aspect, or a series of "structural cartoons" - enzyme structure, enzyme plus substrate, enzyme with transition state analog, and enzyme with product - may give insight in the function of a molecule. As an example we will discuss the structure and function of the restriction enzyme BsoBI from Bacillus stearothemzophilus in complex with its cognate DNA. The enzyme forms a unique complex with DNA in that it completely encircles the DNA. The structure reveals the enzyme-DNA contacts, how the DNA is distorted compared with the canonical forms, and elegantly shows how two distinct DNA sequences can be recognized with the same efficiency. Based on the structure we may also propose a hypothesis how the enzymatic mechanism works. The knowledge gained thru studies such as this one can be used to alter the function by changing the molecular structure. Usually this is done by design of inhibitors specifically active against and fitting into an active site of the enzyme of choice. In the case of BsoBI one of the objectives of the study was to alter the enzyme specificity. In bone biology there are many candidates available for molecular study in order to explain, alter, or (temporarily) suspend activity. For example, the understanding of a pathway that negatively regulates bone formation may be a good target for drug design to stimulate bone formation and have good potential as the basis for new countermeasures against bone loss. In principle the same approach may aid muscle atrophy, radiation damage, immune response changes and other risks identified for long-duration Space travel.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
vanderWoerd, Mark (BAE Systems Analytical Solutions, Inc. Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.