Inactivation of Nucleic Acid Functions

  • Hermann Dertinger
  • Horst Jung
Part of the Heidelberg Science Library book series (HSL)


The nucleic acids fulfil important functions within the complex biochemical processes which are the basis of what we know as life. For example, the total genetic information of an individual is contained in its nucleic acids; this information is carried in most organisms by double-stranded DNA, but in some viruses the genome consists of a single strand of DNA or RNA, and in rare cases of double-stranded RNA. Duplication of the genetic material must occur to enable the genetic information to be transferred from one generation to the next (for example, in cell division). According to the Watson-Crick mechanism for the semi-conservative replication of double-stranded DNA, the original strands separate while the complementary strands are synthesized. This process can also occur in vitro; such a system must contain DNA polymerase and deoxyribonucleoside-triphosphate, as well as a DNA template, also known as “primer” DNA (cf. Kornberg, 1961).


Strand Break Haemophilus Influenzae Priming Activity Single Strand Break Thymine Dimer 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hermann Dertinger
    • 1
  • Horst Jung
    • 1
  1. 1.Nuclear Science CenterUniversity of Heidelberg and Institute for Radiation BiologyKarlsruheGermany

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