Its two-step handiwork described in The EMBO Journal as most efficient of any enzyme
A newly discovered enzyme described by University of Pittsburgh researchers in a study published online today, is believed to play a key role in maintaining the integrity of a cells genetic information – the basis by which the life of a cell or species is preserved – by allowing its DNA to be replicated despite discovery of a mishap on the sequence that it corrects with a new mistake. Its sophisticated yet quick-fix tactics, employed at a most critical time, when typically damage can halt replication altogether, may save the cell from near certain death. Harnessing its unique capabilities could have implications for treating some cancers.
In the paper posted on the Web site of The EMBO Journal, an official journal of the European Molecular Biology Organization, the researchers describe how DNA polymerase Q, or POL-Q, has the exceptional ability to bypass damaged spots in the DNA sequence that are caused by a cells normal wear and tear or other abuses. In addition, it is the only known enzyme that orchestrates not only one, but two steps involved in bypassing common types of DNA damage.
Lisa Rossi | EurekAlert!
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