Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

DNA-repair protein functions differently in different organisms

25.03.2003


Researchers hope to someday develop an enzyme to repair UV-damaged DNA in humans



Plants, pond scum, and even organisms that live where the sun doesn’t shine have something that humans do not -- an enzyme that repairs DNA damaged by ultraviolet (UV) light.
Cabell Jonas of Richmond, Va., an undergraduate honors student in biology at Virginia Tech, will report on the molecular details of the DNA-repair enzyme at the 225th national meeting of the American Chemical Society March 23-27 in New Orleans. Her poster includes the novel discovery that the enzyme does not operate the same way in different organisms.

UV light is one of the most prevalent causes of DNA damage. In humans, incidents of resulting disease -- in particular, skin cancer, are increasing as exposure to UV increases, says Sunyoung Kim, assistant professor of biochemistry at Virginia Tech. Since the human body does not have DNA photolyase, Kim and her students are studying the DNA-repair enzyme in other systems. "Our aim is to map the molecular interactions and understand the structural changes, with the eventual goal of being able to create or adapt this flavoenzyme from another organism for treatment of skin cancer in humans," says Kim.



She explains that there are two different kinds of DNA repair. One is base incision repair -- the cell machinery gears up, cuts out the damaged section of DNA, and rebuilds it. The second uses DNA photolyase. "A Lone Ranger enzyme repairs the damage without all the machinery or a lot of team players."

In two steps -- photoactivation and photo repair -- the flavoenzyme actually uses light to repair UV damage -- but from a different, visible part of the spectrum. During activation, a flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) molecule triggers a transfer of electrons from the flavin portion of the enzyme to the damaged DNA to carry out repair.

"We’ve discovered that, depending on which organism the enzyme comes from, the transfer of electrons through the protein is a little different," says Kim. "That is novel because it is generally assumed -- and is a basis for bioinformatics, for instance -- that the same protein doing the same job, even in different organisms, performs in the same way. But we are finding that this job of DNA repair is done by slightly different proteins in our two model organisms -- e. coli and cyanobacterium (once known as blue-green algae) -- and that the electrons take different paths to perform the repair."

The poster, "Examination of photoactivation in DNA photolyase using difference infrared spectroscopy (CHED 893)," by Jonas, graduate student Lori A. McKee of Butte, Montana, and Kim, will be presented on Monday, March 24, from 2 to 4 p.m. in Convention Center Hall J. Now a senior, Jonas has carried out research in Dr. Kim’s lab since Jonas was a sophomore. McKee received her undergraduate chemistry degree at Montana Tech.



Contact Dr. Kim at sukim1@vt.edu or (540)231-8636 or Cabell Jonas at mjonas@vt.edu(540)231-7091.
PR Contact: Susan Trulove, 540-231-5646, strulove@vt.edu


Sunyoung Kim | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.technews.vt.edu/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria
23.05.2017 | Rice University

nachricht Discovery of an alga's 'dictionary of genes' could lead to advances in biofuels, medicine
23.05.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose synestia, a new type of planetary object

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Medical gamma-ray camera is now palm-sized

23.05.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>