Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Clemson University biochemists identify new genetic code repair tool

28.09.2011
Clemson University researchers recently reported finding a new class of DNA repair-makers.

Clemson biochemist Weiguo Cao studies how cells repair damaged DNA. The finding from Cao's lab in the Clemson Biosystems Research Complex in collaboration with computational chemist Brian Dominy appeared in the Sept. 9 issue of The Journal of Biological Chemistry: "A new family of deamination repair enzymes in the uracil DNA glycosylase superfamily by Hyun-Wook Lee, Brian N. Dominy and Weiguo Cao."

"DNA is a string of a long molecule composed of four building blocks: A for adenine, T for thymine, G for guanine and C for cytosine. The heredity of all organisms is determined by the pairing of A with T and G with C," said Cao, a professor in the genetics and biochemistry department.

DNA is constantly assaulted by various stresses. A common type of damage is modification of three out of the four building blocks for genetic code, A, G, C by a chemical process called deamination. The genetic consequence of deamination is that it will change the pairing of the genetic code. For example, the deamination of C (cytosine) will generate U (uracil). Instead of pairing with G as C will do, U pairs with A. In so doing, it changes the genetic program inside the cell and may cause dangerous mutations resulting in disease.

To ensure the integrity of the genetic material, cells are equipped with a "molecular toolkit" for repairing DNA damage. The toolkit is comprised of a variety of different molecules — called enzymes — that have evolved to repair different types of DNA damage. One of the DNA repair enzymes the Cao lab studies is called uracil DNA glycosylase (UDG). As it's name indicates, it is traditionally known as an enzyme that removes uracil from DNA. Because deamination of C (cytosine) is a very common type of damage found in DNA, UDG has been found in many organisms and researchers have grouped them into five families in the so-called UDG superfamily.

In their most recent work, Cao and his colleagues discovered a new class of enzymes in that superfamily that lack the ability to repair uracil. A further study showed that this class of enzymes, instead, is engaged in the repair of deamination on the different building block adenine. This caught them by surprise because all known UDG enzymes are capable of uracil repair.

To further understand how this new class of enzymes works as a tool for repair, Cao and Dominy combined computational and biochemical methods to pinpoint the critical part of the repair machine that is responsible.

"What we learned from this work is that DNA repair toolkits have an amazing ability to evolve different repair functions for different kinds of DNA damage," Cao said. "This work also demonstrates how a combination of research approaches from different disciplines makes the discovery possible."

"Collaborative efforts involving computational and experimental investigative methods can greatly enhance the efficiency of scientific discovery, as well as provide more thorough answers to very important scientific questions," Dominy said. "In my opinion, the collaborative efforts between our two groups have demonstrated the substantial value of such interactions."

Weiguo Cao | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.clemson.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>