October 15, 2014

Scientists Map Key Moment in Assembly of DNA-Splitting Molecular Machine

Crucial steps and surprising structures revealed in the genesis of the enzyme that divides the DNA double helix during cell replication

The proteins that drive DNA replication—the force behind cellular growth and reproduction—are some of the most complex machines on Earth. The multistep replication process involves hundreds of atomic-scale moving parts that rapidly interact and transform. Mapping that dense molecular machinery is one of the most promising and challenging frontiers in medicine and biology.