The results were published in Nucleid Acids Research.
Researchers with the joint program Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)- Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) on Computational Biology, together with scientists at Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) have discovered a hidden DNA structural code that provides novel insights on gene expression.
Traditionally, the specific DNA sequence on promoter regions has been considered as the most important regulatory element in transcription (the first step leading to gene expression). But a new paradigm is proposed in the study: promoters can be defined, not only by their sequence, but also by their structure, characterized by distinctive physicochemical properties that will bring an unusual physical deformability (shift, slide, twist, tilt, roll) which might favour protein recognition.
CRG press release