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 Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood
23.02.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht New Mechanisms of Gene Inactivation may prevent Aging and Cancer
23.02.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

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

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>