Volume 1 Issue 9 September 2017

Volume 1 Issue 9

DNA polymerases are enzymes that mediate DNA replication. Their active sites can be fine-tuned to such a degree so as to mediate only the formation of Watson–Crick pairs and thus replicate DNA with high fidelity. Pictured here is the replication fork of DNA, with a polymerase incorporating nucleotides into the leading DNA strand.

See Wu, W.-J. Yang, W. & Tsai, M.-D. Nat. Rev. Chem. 1, 0068 (2017).

Image and design: Rachael Tremlett

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    A detailed picture of how DNA is copied and modified comes from a molecular-level understanding of DNA and the enzymes that process it. Why is DNA not always copied correctly, and what happens when its bases are modified?

Research Highlights

Comment

  • Comment |

    Controversy surrounds the perceived absence of a relationship between DNA polymerase fidelity (kinetic discrimination) and free energy changes determined from DNA melting studies (thermodynamic discrimination). Thermodynamic discrimination together with aqueous solvent effects can account for kinetic fidelities on the order of those observed experimentally.

    • John Petruska
    •  & Myron F. Goodman

Reviews and Perspectives

  • Perspective |

    The cross-electrophile coupling approach to stereocontrolled C–C bond formation provides a complementary alternative to traditional cross-coupling methods. This Perspective provides an overview of the recent development of nickel-catalysed asymmetric cross-electrophile coupling reactions. Both stereoconvergent and stereospecific examples are considered and mechanistic details are highlighted.

    • Erika L. Lucas
    •  & Elizabeth R. Jarvo
  • Perspective |

    The unique properties of ferrocene-containing compounds make them useful for treating many diseases. The most notable drug candidates — the antimalarial ferroquine and the anticancer agent ferrocifen — have been studied for more than two decades but have not yet met clinical approval. This Review describes the design of ferrocene-containing drugs as well as the challenges faced in bringing them into clinical use.

    • Malay Patra
    •  & Gilles Gasser
  • Review Article |

    DNA polymerases are responsible for DNA replication, repair and mutation. Although these processes occur through conserved mechanisms, this Review highlights how large differences in the fidelity of DNA replication arise from subtle structural differences between individual DNA polymerases. These differences enable polymerases to perform diverse functions that are important to nature as well as technology.

    • Wen-Jin Wu
    • , Wei Yang
    •  & Ming-Daw Tsai
  • Review Article |

    Research into naturally occurring chemically modified DNA bases has been invigorated by new chemical and enzymatic methods that, when coupled with sequencing approaches, enable us to detect and decode them. These techniques will support a better understanding of the role of chemically modified DNA bases in normal physiology and disease.

    • Eun-Ang Raiber
    • , Robyn Hardisty
    • , Pieter van Delft
    •  & Shankar Balasubramanian