Letter to the editor

Henry M. Sobell

Emeritus Professor, Departments of Chemistry and Molecular Biophysics, University of Rochester, NY 14642, USA

*Corresponding author: Henry M. Sobell, Emeritus Professor, Departments of Chemistry and Molecular Biophysics, University of Rochester, NY 14642, USA, E-mail:

I would liketo call attention to my review article entitled, “PREMELTONS IN DNA”, which appeared in the Journal of Structural and Functional Genomics [1].

This paper begins by reviewing our crystallographic studies of planar intercalators complexed to a series of self-complementary DNA and RNA- like dinucleoside monophosphates done in earlier years. The results of these studies readily explain the observation of neighbor exclusion that is why intercalation islimited to occur between every other base pair in DNA at high drug/DNA binding ratios. Neighbor-exclusionhas beenproposed to reflectthe presence of an entirely different DNA conformational state in DNAthis being calledbeta-DNA;a keymetastable and hyperflexible liquid-like phase that acts as a transition-state intermediate in DNA-melting and in the B- to A- structural phase-transition.

The existence of this DNA formleads to a unifying conceptual theory,which predicts beta-DNA to arise spontaneously within the centers of entities called “premeltons”– serving to nucleate both DNA-melting and the B- to A- structural phase transition and further explaining how the intercalation of planar drugs and dyes happens, how DNA breathing and DNA melting occur and how the RNA polymerase binds to the promoter andis able to move frictionlessly along DNA as it synthesizes RNA and finally detaches from DNAto terminate transcriptionthis carrying the important prediction that the centers of premeltons define the beginning and ends of genes in both naked DNA and in DNA undergoing the transcription of genesin active chromatin.

In addition, I have recently created a YouTube video entitled, “The centers of premeltons signal the beginning and ends of genes” [2]. I hope that the readers of Japan Journal of Medicine find this video helpful to understand my theory and to carry out experiments designed to test its validity.


  1. Sobell HM. Premeltons in DNA. JStructFunct Genomics. 2016; 17: 17-31.


Received:  February 02, 2018;
Accepted: February 09, 2018;
Published: February 13, 2018;

To cite this article: Henry M. Sobell. Letter to Editor. Japan Journal of Medicine. 2018; 1:1.
© Henry M. Sobell 2018.