Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Science breakthrough explains how cells repair broken DNA

25.10.2004


Scientists have identified crucial elements necessary for repairing damaged DNA – the blueprint for all living cells.



The breakthrough will further our understanding of how diseases that are associated with DNA instability, such as cancer, arise. The findings also point to how new drug therapies could be developed for treating cancer.

Dr Aidan Doherty, a reader in biochemistry at the University of Sussex’s Genome Damage and Stability Centre, led a collaboration of scientists at Sussex and in the USA and found that the process of repairing DNA breaks was much simpler than previously thought. By manipulating synthetic DNA breaks, his team showed that two proteins, Ku and Ligase, commonly found in bacteria, acted together to identify and repair these breaks.


Close relatives of these proteins are found in the cells of other living organisms, including humans and yeast. When researchers experimented on yeast cells lacking these proteins, they found that the bacterial proteins alone could repair the yeast cells’ DNA. These findings suggest that there is a common repair process that has been conserved throughout evolution from bacteria to humans.

“These findings have important implications for our understanding of repair mechanisms in human cells, “ says Dr Doherty. “Our DNA can be damaged by any number of things, from sunlight to oxygen. This happens continuously and most of the time our cells repair themselves correctly. But occasionally inaccurate repair of these breaks occurs and this has the potential to contribute to cell mutation, allowing genetic material to be lost, which can lead to DNA instability and ultimately cancer.

“Now that we have identified the essential protein activities necessary for this repair process, we can begin to understand how cells repair DNA breaks. There is a great deal of interest in designing drugs that target related repair systems in human cells to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells and we are likely to see new cancer therapies, based on these inhibitors, appearing in the next five to ten years.”

The work has recently been patented and is currently being developed as a research tool for the research and biotechnology communities.

Dr Doherty’s team carried out the research with scientists at the Michigan Medical School and University of Maryland School of Medicine. Financial support came from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Medical Research Council and the Royal Society.

A paper, entitled “Mycobacterial Ku and Ligase proteins constitute a two-component NHEJ repair machine,” was published in Science journal on October 21, 2004.

Jacqui Bealing | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sussex.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>