Authors: G.C. Vezzoli
Affilation: Institute for the Basic Sciences, United States
Pages: 318 - 321
Keywords: DNA, chirality, broken symmetry, water, retrovirus
We show that broken symmetry, at the nano level, of biomolecules is key to phage invasion of a host cell, and take-over of the cell’s RNA-DNA replication processes. We determined that perturbation of cellular water by charge and chemical phenomena increases the nano-order of the water, and through the breaking and re-making of hydrogen bonds, causes water molecules to act as transducers of a signal from a ligand to DNA in the cell nucleus. Our in-situ pH and electrical studies of DNA suspensions show major anomalies at the temperature for the maximum density of water, further supporting water as a transducer, and showing that DNA must be studied as part of the water-DNA system. Our results show that chemical and charge effects caused by low molar concentration aqueous salts, weak acids, and charged multivalent ions cause a re-conformation of DNA to a spiral, fractal, cylindrical, and/or toroidal configuration. Perturbation, at the nano-level, of the hydrophyllic heads of the phospholipid structure of the cell membrane, by a retrovirus, such as reverse transcriptase (RT), creates transients in the oscillatory behavior of cellular H2O. The spiral structure of the multifolded RT phage mechanically assists in its capability to penetrate the host cell via a fusion pore. We show that the minor groove of DNA and the 5-carbon sugar bond, because of nano-steric and stress effects, are the most favorable sites of the double helix for multivalent cations adsorption, leading to RT attachment and mutagenicity.