New here? Get your first assignment done for free by top experts on coursepivot!

Create your first order and get 80% cashback within 24 hours

Basic Molecular Biology Shortnotes

nucleic acids
DNA and RNA are examples; so called because they are found in the nucleus and possess many acidic phosphate groups.

one of the four aromatic bases found in DNA and RNA; a purine that pairs with thymine (in DNA) and uracil (in RNA).

one of four aromatic bases found in DNA and RNA; a purine that pairs with cytosine.

one of four aromatic bases found in DNA and RNA; a pyrimidine that pairs with guanine.

one of four aromatic bases found in DNA and RNA; a pyrimidine that pairs with adenine.

all the genetic information in an organism; all of an organisms chromosomes.

a single piece of double-stranded DNA; part of the genome of an organism.

DNA gyrase
a prokaryotic enzyme used to twist the single circular chromosome of prokaryotes upon itself to form supercoils.

globular proteins that assist in DNA packaging in eukaryotes. histones form octamers around which DNA is wound to form a nucleosome.

a structure composed of two coils of DNA wrapped around an octet of histone proteins.

a structure composed of a ribose molecule linked to one of the aromatic bases.

DNA that is densely packed around histone proteins.

the enzymatic process of reading a strand of DNA to produce a complementary strand of RNA.

a long linear polymer found in the nucleus of a cell and formed from nucleotides and shaped like a double helix

a long linear polymer of nucleotides found in the nucleus but mainly in the cytoplasm of a cell where it is associated with microsomes

the process of reading a strand of mRNA to synthesize protein. protein translation takes place on a ribosome.

messenger RNA; the type of RNA that is read by a ribosome to synthesize protein.

a structure made of two protein subunits and rRNA; this is the site of protein synthesis in a cell.

ribosomal RNA; the type of RNA that associates with ribosomal proteins to make a functional ribosome.

genetic code
the “language of molecular biology that specifies which amino acid corresponds to which three-nucleotide group.

a group of 3 nucleotides that is specific for a particular amino acid, or that specifies “stop translating”.

point mutation
a type of mutation in DNA where a single base is substituted for another.

insertion mutation
a mutation in which one or more extra nucleotides are added into the DNA sequence.

deletion mutation
a mutation in which a nucleotide is removed from the DNA sequence.

frameshift mutation
a mutation caused by the insertion or deletion of base pairs in a gene sequence in DNA such that the reading frame of the gene is altered.

the duplication of DNA

DNA pol
DNA polymerase; an enzyme that replicates DNA. eukaryotes have one version, prokaryotes have three.

an RNA polymerase that creates a primer to initiate DNA replication. DNA pol binds to the primer and elongates it.

an enzyme that unwinds the double helix of DNA and separates the DNA strands in preparation for DNA replication.

origin of replication
the specific location on an DNA strand where replication begins.

one of four aromatic bases found in RNA; a pyrimidine that pairs with adenine.

transfer RNA; the type of RNA that carries an amino acid from the cytoplasm to the ribosome for incorporation into a growing protein.

heterogenous nuclear RNA; the primary transcript made in eukaryotes before splicing.

one time of eukaryotic mRNA processing in which introns are removed from the primary transcript and exons are ligated together.

a nucleotide sequence that intervenes between protein-coding sequences.

a nucleotide sequence in RNA that contains protein-coding information; typically separated by introns.

5′ cap
a methylated guanine nucleotide added to the 5′ end of eukaryotic mRNA. necessary to initiate translation of the mRNA.

a sequence of three nucleotides that is complementary to a specific codon in mRNA.

70S ribosome
the prokaryotic ribosome

80S ribosome
the eukaryotic ribosome

P site
petidyl-tRNA site; the site on a ribosome where the growing peptide is found during translation.

peptidyl transferase
the enzymatic activity of the ribosome that catalyzes the formation of a peptide bond between amino acids.

Frederick Griffith
used pathogenic and nonpathogenic bacteria to discover transformation

Process in which one strain of bacteria is changed by a gene or genes from another strain of bacteria

Oswald Avery
tested the ability of inactivated DNA, RNA, and protein to transform live nonpathogenic bacteria

viruses that infect bacteria

Hershey and Chase
used radioactive sulfur (protein) and phosphorus (DNA) in viruses to trace which could reprogram cells to make more phages

Erwin Chargaff
Chargaff’s Rule: equivalences of A to T and C to G in DNA

Nitrogenous bases of DNA
thymine, adenine, cytosine, guanine

adenine and guanine, 2 rings

thymine and cytosine, 1 ring

Nitrogenous bases held together by
hydrogen bonds

DNA nucleotide consists of
nitrogenous base, sugar deoxyribose, and phosphate group

double helix
two strands of nucleotides wound about each other; structure of DNA

Rosalind Franklin
produced X-ray diffraction image of DNA

Watson and Crick
built the first model of the double helix

semiconservative model
when a doule helix replicates, each of two daughter molecules will have one old and one new strand

Meselson and Stahl
devised an experiment using a nitrogen isotope to determine the semiconservative model

origins of replication
sites where DNA begins replication

replication fork
y-shaped region where DNA is being unwound

enzyme that untwists the double helix at replication fork

single-strand binding proteins
bind to the unpaired DNA strands to stabilize them

RNA chain added to begin DNA replication

enzyme that synthesis primer for DNA replication

DNA polymerases
enzymes that catalyze DNA synthesis by adding new nucleotides, remove RNA primer and replaces it with DNA nucleotides

DNA polymerases can add nucleotides only to the
3′ end of a primer

DNA strand can elongate only in the
5′ to 3′ direction

two strands of DNA are oriented in opposite directions

leading strand
strand of DNA replicating in the continuous 5′-3′ direction towards the replication fork

lagging strand
DNA strand replicating in direction away from the replication fork

DNA replicates in _ direction from the origin or replication

Okazaki fragments
segments of the lagging strand synthesized discontinually

DNA ligase
enzyme that joins sugar-phosphate backbones of Okazaki fragments

special nucleotide sequences at the end of DNA, do not contain genes, only prevent staggered ends of the daughter molecule from activating the cell’s systems for monitoring DNA damage

enzyme that catalyzes lengthening of telomeres


What two factors are the main determination of the Tm of DNA
Amount of G:C’s & overall strand length

How many rings do purines & pyrimidines have?
Purines: 2

The DNA from two different species can often be distinguished by a difference in the____.
Ratio of A+T to G+C

What is the difference between Uracil & Thymine
Thymine has a methyl group

What did the X-ray diffraction patterns produced by Rosalind Franklin initially reveal about the DNA molecule?
It is a helical structure with distinct regularities

You have 340 nm of double stranded B form DNA. How many 360 degree turns are present in the double helix?

You have 340 nm of double stranded B form DNA. How many nucleotides are present? Be careful!

DNA and RNA both contain phosphate and deoxyribose. (True or False)

In general, the keto form of thymine is more abundant than the enol form. (True or False)

Left-Handed helical form of DNA

DNA that results from reduced humidity around the DNA and is more tightly wound

DNA that most closely resembles the Watson & Crick model

Term used to describe the amount of the double helix crossing over itself

Number of helical turns in a given space

What are the main RNA secondary structures?
Bulge-loop, hairpin, pseudoknot, internal loop, and double helix

A closer association between DNA and histones most likely causes___.
repression in gene expression

Which amino acids of histone N-termini can be acetylated and deacetylated?

RNA can form Beta Sheets (True or False)

What technique is most commonly used to study the secondary structure of RNA?
Computer algorithms

Microarrays involve reassembling configs (true or false)

Incubation of cccDNA in 37 degrees Celsius water is highly likely to change the linking number (true or false)

DNA wrapped around a histone core

the study of heritable changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence

the combination of histone modifications on a given nucleosome near a gene’s control region affects the efficiency of that gene’s transcription
the histone code

Removes acetyl group from histones

methylates histones on lysine 9 of H3
histone methlytransferase

yeast complex involved in chromatin remodeling

a mechanism by which cells shut down large sections of chromosomal DNA
gene silencing

acetylates histones in the nucleus

movement of nucleosomes on DNA
chromatin remodeling

A gene that you are interested in is actively transcribed, causing you to postulate that its promoter is in a nucleosome-free zone. How might you test this?
look to see if the promoter is hypersensitive to DNase

. Histone proteins recognize sequences in the major groove because those sequences have greater rotational freedom. (true or false)

Euchromatin is hypoacetylated and thus actively transcribed (true or false)

Histone methylation by HMTases can cause a repressive effect, even though the methylation is masking the positive charge similar to acetylation (true or false)

One histone modification can influence another (true or false)

CRISPR/Cas gene editing approach is specific to a certain target DNA sequence due do what component of the system?

A reason for genetic engineering a conditionally expressed allele into an organism is (3 reasons)
1.You can study that gene during specific developmental timepoints
2.It works as an internal control
3.The gene might be essential to development

What protein domain would most likely bind to acetylated lysines in a nucleosome?

The histone core is an octomer. In addition, there is another histone called H1. Its role is to___.
trigger condensation of the 10 nm fiber into 30 nm fiber

How many nm are there per turn of DNA?
3.4 nm

How far are each basepairs apart in DNA?
.34 nm apart

What is the overall charge of the sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA?

What forms the major & minor grooves?
Glycosidic bonds

Term used to describe sheer stress protein binding causing an adjacent base to twist
Propeller twist

Type II topoisomerase found in prokaryotes that relieves stress on unwinding DNA during replication by negative supercoiling

Catalytically active RNA strands

Protein that regulates the separation of sister chromatids during M-phase

Characteristics of Histones (and their tails)
-Comprised of 8 subunits (octamer)
-Tails are enriched with lysine & arginine
-(+) tails mask (-) DNA
-Tails interact with both DNA & other tails

How many types of Histones are there and where are they found?
There are 5; H2A, H2B, H3, & H4 comprise the histone core while H1 is outside the core attached to the linker DNA

What are the 2 types of 30 nm fibers?

  1. Solenoid (shorter linker DNA)
  2. Zig-Zag (longer linker DNA)

Ways to change interactions between DNA & Histones

  1. Nucleosome placement (positioning)
  2. Nucleosome remodeling
  3. Histone tail modification

Assay that determines if DNA region is nucleosome-free by using DNAse to cut hypersensitive endonuclease site that will be exposed if region is nucleosome-free. If it is two bands will be shown
Nuclease Sensitivity Assay

  1. ATP hybridizes to complex
  2. If conditions are correct complex will form pinchers around core
  3. Initial conformation is unfavorable & will change
  4. DNA will move around histone core & a “bulge” of DNA will appear
  5. Pinchers will release & DNA will move around histone core
    Sliding bulge hypothesis

Modifications of histone tails (3)

Domain that recognizes methyl groups on histones

Fragments of DNA that contain ori’s of replication within the genome
Autonomous replicating sequences

The complex of proteins that function at the replication fork

The DNA that is replicated at a specific ori

Function of Pol I
Replication of new DNA strand and exonuclease activity in both the 5′–>3′ and 3′–>5′ direction

Function of Pol II
Replicates lagging strand while using 3′–>5′ exonuclease activity

Function of Pol III
Replicates leading strand while using 3′–>5′ exonuclease activity

How do Prokaryotes solve the problem of the space left in DNA when the primer is removed?
Primer is removed using 3′–>5′ exonuclease activity of DNA Pol I then Pol I synthesizes DNA in the space

How do Eukaryotes solve the problem of the space left in DNA when the primer is removed?
DNA Pol III will continue to synthesize DNA around primer which will create a RNA “flap” which will eventually be removed by dedicated endonucleases

In what direction is all DNA synthesized?

How can you measure if the initiator protein is interacting with the replicator sequence on a chromosome

  1. DNA footprinting
  2. X-ray crystallography
  3. Gel electrophoresis mobility shift assay
  4. CHIP (chromatin immunoprecipitation)

How does Gel electrophoresis mobility shift work?
You run a gel with a lane of just the DNA, just the protein, and a lane with both together. If the protein interacts with the DNA it will move less then the other 2 lanes

How does ChIP work?
You attach a protein to the DNA, shear DNA into smaller fragments, add beads attached to antibodies specific for the targeted protein, purify DNA by removing proteins & beads, sequence DNA to genome to determine what DNA is associated with the protein used

General steps of replication in prokaryotes (circular chromosomes)

  1. initiator binds to replicator sequence
  2. Local unwinding
  3. More initiators bind to same sequence, increasing chance of replication occuring
  4. Helicase is recruited with loader
  5. Helicase recruits primase to add primers (helicase also removes initiators)
  6. Primers signal holoenzyme which recognizes DNA-RNA duplex
  7. Synthesis of leading strand begins, shortly after lagging strand begins
  8. Synthesis will continue until two replication forks run into eachother

To conditionally delete a gene or segment of a gene using flox technology (uses loxP & Cre-recombinase)

How to use flox technology?

  1. Insert loxP sites on both sides of desired exon you wish to delete
  2. Cre-recombinase enzyme will catalyze loxP recombination
  3. loxP sites will come together forcing the exon into a bulge sticking out of the chromosome
  4. Exon will be ligated and deleted

What does it mean to control something conditionally & what are 2 examples of conditional controlling?
-To have direct control over expression of gene (such as Cre-recombinase)
-Use a specific promoter sequence (cell specific)
-Use specific response elements from drugs (time specific)

Experimental artifact
Off-target effects from experimental design

Is lysine 9 on H3 repressed or expressed when methylated or acetlyated?
repressed if methylated
expressed if acetylated

Is lysine 5 on H4 repressed or expressed when acetylated?

Is lysine 12 on H4 repressed or expressed when acetylated?

Is lysine 8 on H4 repressed or expressed when acetylated?

Is lysine 16 on H4 expressed or repressed when acetylated?

Where can methylated cytosines be found?
CpG islands

What type of events have been found to produce methylated cytosines?
Exercisise, starvation, and psychological trauma

Why do telomeres form T-loops? (3)
-DNA damage checkpoints would turn on causing apoptosis
-Unprotected ends can be degraded by DNAse
-Enzymes would recognize it as a strand break & piece two ends together

Telomeres consist of (2 things)
Reverse transcriptase & RNA

What is the advantage of using an IRES in research?
Ability of monitoring a gene of interest without attaching a bulky GDF-reporter

Get homework help and essay writing assistance

Order custom essays from top writers today and get a professional paper delivered to your email on time.

Do my Assignment