Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

USC-led team of scientists recreates DNA-mending pathway in test-tube

03.12.2004


Finding could lead to new cancer drugs, more effective radiation treatments



One of five known DNA-repair mechanisms in cells has been completely analyzed and reconstituted in a test tube by an international collaboration of researchers led by scientists from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. The team is the first ever to reconstitute this pathway, known as the nonhomologous end joining pathway, or NHEJ, and NHEJ is only the third repair pathway to be reconstituted in the laboratory. The findings were published in the December 3, 2004 issue of Molecular Cell.

Understanding how DNA repair works is critical to understanding the development of cancer, which often occurs when DNA is not properly repaired.


In addition, notes Michael Lieber, M.D., Ph.D., the Rita and Edward Polusky Chair in Basic Cancer Research at the Keck School who heads up the molecular genetics program at the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and was principal investigator on this study, the ability to reconstitute the pathway has important practical implications.

"Now we can really test for drugs that will affect the pathway," he said. "For instance, one of the things this pathway is particularly good at is repairing radiation damage. When people get radiation treatment, both the normal and the tumor cells will use this pathway to resist the radiation. If we could inhibit the pathway regionally in or around the tumor, we could really make radiation dramatically more effective."

In order for the team to reconstitute the NHEJ pathway, which is found in all cells that are evolutionarily ’above’ yeast, they first had to purify all the proteins used to rejoin the double strands of DNA once they’ve suffered damage and are severed from one another. As it turned out, two of the seven proteins come from a class of polymerases that were discovered in 1999 by Myron Goodman, Ph.D., professor of molecular biology at the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, who became an essential part of this research team. "Before this, no one knew what this class was good for," Lieber explains. "This is really the first solid indication of what two of these polymerases might do."

Knowledge of the details of the NHEJ pathway extends beyond its connections to cancer and radiation treatment, Lieber notes. "This pathway gets used not just for accidental damage, oxidative damage and radiation damage to DNA, but is also used in the immune system," he explains. "So the immune system would function less well without it."

Jon Weiner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.usc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Organ Crosstalk: Fatty Liver Can Cause Damage to Other Organs
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Diabetesforschung

nachricht Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related
17.08.2017 | University of Washington

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>