July 12, 2013

Helicases are enzymes whose function is vital to the life of all organisms. Helicases are motor proteins which are fueled by ATP to move along and separate nucleic acid strands.

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Dr EJ Dell
PhD, Sales Manager Northwest

Since there is great variety in the processes that require separation of nucleic acid strands there is a corresponding variety in helicases. The cellular processes which require helicase activity include: DNA replication, transcription of DNA to RNA,  and translation of RNA to protein. In addition; DNA repair and recombination also employ helicases.

Due to their involvement in so many important processes, the specific inhibition of helicases from pathogens is a possible route for developing new drugs to treat this pathogens. An approach designed to identify small molecule inhibitors of helicases is described in the BMG LABTECH application note entitled: Molecular Beacon based helicase assays on the FLUOstar Omega.

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