Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Less effective DNA repair process takes over as mice age

10.09.2014

Process may explain why damaged DNA contributes to cancer and other age-related illnesses

As we and other vertebrates age, our DNA accumulates mutations and becomes rearranged, which may result in a variety of age-related illnesses, including cancers.

Biologists Vera Gorbunova and Andei Seluanov have now discovered one reason for the increasing DNA damage: the primary repair process begins to fail with increasing age and is replaced by one that is less accurate.

The findings have been published in the journal PLOS Genetics.

... more about:
»DNA »GFP »Genetics »X-rays »damage »mechanism »medicines »observations »protein

"Scientists have had limited tools to accurately study how DNA repair changes with age," said Gorbunova. "We are now able to measure the efficiency with which cells in mice of different ages repair DNA breaks at the same place in the chromosome."

Gorbunova explained that when mice are young, the breaks in DNA strands are repaired through a process called non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), in which the damage is repaired by gluing the DNA together with no or very little overlap.

However, Gorbunova and Seluanov found that NHEJ began to fail as the mice got older, allowing a less reliable DNA repair process—microhomology-mediated end joining (MMEJ)—to take over. With MMEJ repairs, broken ends are glued together by overlapping similar sequences that are found within the broken DNA ends. This process leads to loss of DNA segments and the wrong pieces being stitched together.

Gorbunova and her team were able to make their observations by working with genetically-modified mice whose cells produce green fluorescent protein (GFP) that glows each time the breaks are repaired. By tracking how many cells glowed green in different tissues, the researchers determined the efficiency of repair.

"We showed two things with these genetically-modified mice," said Gorbunova. "Not only did the efficiency of DNA repair decline with age, but the mice began using a sloppier repair mechanism, leading to more mutations, particularly in the heart and lungs."

DNA breaks occur frequently because animal cells are under constant assault from routine activities in the environment—whether by a blast of X-rays from a visit to the doctor or simply breathing in oxygen—and, as a result, the DNA molecules often get damaged.

Using the genetically modified mice, the research team can now look at how diet, medicines, and different genetic factors also affect DNA repair in mice.

"These mice may very well help us devise novel ways to prevent some of the illnesses associated with aging," said Gorbunova.

Peter Iglinski | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.rochester.edu

Further reports about: DNA GFP Genetics X-rays damage mechanism medicines observations protein

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>