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  English.dicp.cas.cn    Posted:2016-10-27
Zhang Dayu Lectureship (XXIII)

Title: Using Nanopores to Interrogate DNA: Examining Base Modifications and Unfolding Dynamics in Single Molecules

Time:October 27, 2016 9:30 AM

Location:Conference Room of Basic Energy Sciences Building

Prof. Cynthia J. Burrows

Department of Chemistry, The University of Utah


Prof. Cynthia J. Burrows is an internationally recognized scientist in biological chemistry. She is a fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Association for Advancement of Science. She has received National Science Foundation Creativity Award, Cope Scholar Award from ACS. Now she is the Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the University of Utah. She is also the chief editor of the Accounts of Chemical Research (ACR), the senior editor of the Journal of Organic Chemistry (JOC).

Prof. Cynthia J. Burrows has research interests in the chemical mechanisms of DNA modification with a particular focus on pathways related to oxidative stress. Her laboratory has characterized new oxidation products of guanosine and uncovered unusual biochemical phenomena related to DNA and RNA modification and repair. Recent focal points include the study of G-quadruplex-forming sequences in promoter and telomeric regions of the genome, the application of single-molecule methods to examine DNA modifications in protein nanopores, and an interest in DNA and RNA photochemistry relevant to the origins of life.


Oxidative stress in the cell results in modifications to DNA and RNA bases and downstream events including effects on transcription and replication as well as signaling for repair. Ultimately, unrepaired damage in DNA leads to mutagenesis that is a contributing factor to cancer and other diseases. Our studies focus on base modifications arising from guanine (G) oxidation, including how and where they form in the genome. To investigate this, we have developed a single-molecule nanopore approach that is complementary to other biophysical techniques for interrogating nucleic acid structure. Specifically, the electrophoretic capture of DNA strands, either Watson-Crick duplexes or folded G-quadruplexes, inside a protein nanopore (alpha-hemolysin) provides information about the presence of oxidized bases as well as the dynamics of unfolding. We have applied this technique to examine guanine oxidation and folding dynamics of G-quadruplexes and the i-motif.




Contacts:Junxia Ding (Group 1101, 9930)




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