Keith Hautala

By

College: Pharmacy

Guo Lab Discovers New Class of Revolution Biomotor and Solves Mystery in Viral DNA Packaging

Published: Mar 20, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 20, 2013) — Scientists at the University of Kentucky have cracked a 35-year-old mystery about the workings of natural "biomotors."  These molecular machines are serving as models for development of synthetic nanomotors that will someday pump therapeutic DNA, RNA or drugs into individual diseased cells.

 

The report, revealing the innermost mechanisms of these motors in a bacteria-killing virus and a "new way to move DNA through cells," is being published online today in the journal ACS Nano.

 

The article, "Mechanism of One-Way Traffic of Hexameric Phi29 DNA Packaging Motor with Four Electropositive Relaying Layers Facilitating Anti-Parallel Revolution," can be downloaded with free, open access from http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn4002775.  

 

Peixuan Guo, director of the UK Nanobiotechnology Center, and his colleagues explain that two motors have been found in nature: A linear motor and a rotating motor. Now they report discovery of a third type, a revolving molecular motor.

 

Guo points out that nanomotors will open the door to practical machines and other nanotechnology devices so small that 100,000 would fit across the width of a human hair. One major natural prototype for those development efforts has been the motor that packages DNA into the shell of bacteriophage phi29, a virus that infects and kills bacteria.

 

Guo’s own research team wants to embed a synthetic version of that motor into nanomedical devices that are injected into the body, travel to diseased cells and pump in medication. A major barrier in doing so has been uncertainty and controversy about exactly how the phi29 motor moves. Scientists thought that it worked by rotating or spinning in the same motion as the Earth turning once every 24 hours upon its own axis.

 

In their ACS Nano paper, Guo — with his team, Zhengyi Zhao, Emil Khisamutdinov, and Chad Schwartz — challenge that idea. Indeed, they discovered that the phi29 motor moves DNA without any rotational motion. The motor moves DNA with a revolving in the same motion as the Earth revolving around the sun in one orbit ever 365 days. The "revolution without rotation" model could resolve a big conundrum troubling the past 35 years of painstaking investigation of the mechanism of these viral DNA packaging motors, the report states. 

 

Guo is professor in the UK College of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and holds the William S. Farish Fund Endowed Chair in Nanobiotechnology for the Markey Cancer Center.  

 

The authors acknowledge funding from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health.

 

Illustrated videos of the mechanism can be found at http://nanobio.uky.edu/movie2013.html

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Keith Hautala, (859) 323-2396; keith.hautala@uky.edu

guo_biomotor.jpg001_peixuan_guo_crop.jpg
December
 
1
Resumes and Cover Letters
Circle of Love Gift Return
Mon
2
UK Guitar Studio
Circle of Love Gift Return
Tue
3
Networking and Job Search
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Wayne's World
Study Sounds: Classical Concert
Wed
4
LNFS Presents: Frozen
Ballet Music of Tchaikovsky
Circle of Love Gift Pick-Up
Live Screening of Orion Spacecraft Re-entry
Massage on the Go
Thu
5
LNFS Presents: Winter's Bone
LNFS Presents: Gremlins
Open Studio
Circle of Love Gift Pick-Up
Fri
6
Snow Skiing @ Perfect North Slopes
Sat
7
Free Holiday Shopping Shuttle to Fayette Mall
Sun
8
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find a Faculty Mentor"
Mon
9
Job Club - Identifying Your Skills
Paws for Stress Relief
Tue
10
 
Wed
11
 
Thu
12
Last Day of Classes
Fri
13
 
Sat
14
Free Holiday Shopping Shuttle to Fayette Mall
Finals Treats
Sun
15
Final Exams
Crunch Brunch
Mon
16
Final Exams
Jazzy Holiday Concert
Tue
17
Final Exams
Caregiver Support Group
Wed
18
Final Exams
Thu
19
Final Exams
End of 2014 Fall Semester
Fri
20
 
Sat
21
 
Sun
22
 
Mon
23
 
Tue
24
 
Wed
25
 
Thu
26
 
Fri
27
 
Sat
28
 
Sun
29
 
Mon
30
 
Tue
31
 
Wed
 
 
 
Dec 19
End of 2014 Fall Semester 12/19/2014

Wed, 01/14/2015

Fri, 01/16/2015

Wed, 01/21/2015

Reset Page