Double Helix Case Study

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The Double Helix DNA nucleotides are compacted and tightly organised to enable them to fit into the nucleus. The double helix is formed by the two complimentary base pairs twisted in on each other. The two base pair strands are right handed which means they should twist in the same direction of your fingers if you were to place the thumb of your right hand on the long axis of the molecule.1 The two complimentary base pair strands run anti parallel to each other so their two sugar phosphate groups are running in the opposite direction of each other. Studies indicate that helix makes a full turn every 3.4nm this tells us that there are ten layers of base pairs in each turn of the helix as bases are stacked 0.34nm apart. The molecule consists of a major groove and a minor grove, these grooves are crucial binding sites for many proteins such as gene expression, transcription and replication. They also provide important binding sites for many drugs but also poisons and carcinogens. The faces of each base are also hydrophobic to protect the bases from interaction with water. DNA Storage in Nucleus…show more content…
Proteins called histones are responsible for the first level of DNA compaction. Histones are composed of about 100 amino acids of which are more than a fifth are positively charged helping to bind themselves to the negatively charged DNA molecules. The 4 main types of histones and there is little variation in these histones among eukaryotic organisms. The four main types of histones found in chromatin are H2A, H2B, H3 and H4. The mass of DNA in a chromatin is equal to approximately the mass of the

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