The radioactive labelling of the DNA molecule is possible using radioactive phosphorus and tritium atom. But is it any how possible to label the DNA molecule using a radioactive sulphur atom?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @AliceD I honestly don't understand the argument that his question isn't about biology. I can't really think of any reason to label DNA this way that wouldn't be part of a biological experiment. (of course adding the motivation would improve the question, but it is not necessary to make it on-topic in this case). $\endgroup$ Aug 20 '17 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ @MadScientist point taken. I'll remove the comment. However, adding background helps to add the 'prior research component' too. It would just greatly enhance question quality. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Aug 20 '17 at 18:27

Yes, it is possible, and indeed this was the standard labelling procedure used in early Sanger sequencing.

You synthesise DNA using a deoxynucleotide with a sulphur replacing an oxygen on the α phosphate as shown below. This phosphate forms the phosphodiester link in nucleic acids so the sulphur is incorporated.

The image is of dATPαS alphaS

response to David's comments

Please note that:

  1. DNA does not normally contain sulphur.
  2. This technique is for in vitro labelling of DNA; as far as I am aware it isn't possible to label with sulphur in vivo.
  • $\begingroup$ I have down-voted your answer as the radio-active molecule produced by the method you suggest is not chemically DNA but an analogue thereof. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Aug 20 '17 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ Please go to chat for extended discussions. Because of raised flags and the general negative tone, I've removed most of the comments here. Please keep it civil. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Aug 20 '17 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ nature.com/nchembio/journal/v3/n11/full/nchembio.2007.39.html $\endgroup$
    – Curt F.
    Sep 21 '17 at 13:07

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