Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

DNA breaks and genomic instability: Broken ends stick together

14.12.2004


The authors of two studies this week report findings that offer new insight into how breaks in chromosomes can lead to the so-called genomic instability that is a hallmark of cancer. When DNA is damaged, as it routinely is during the life of cells, the damage must be properly repaired in order to keep chromosomes intact. Failure of the DNA repair process disrupts the structural stability of chromosomes, which must be intact in order to be properly segregated to daughter cells when cells divide. Non-repaired or improperly fused chromosomes lead to chromosome breaks in mitosis and disruptions in gene activity that can lead to cancer. Unfortunately, the molecular events following DNA repair failure that lead to this genomic instability are only partly understood.



In the first study, researchers led by David Toczyski at UCSF and James Haber at Brandeis University fluorescently marked chromosomes at, or near, DNA breaks, and showed that the broken ends of yeast chromosomes remain held together even as cells attempt to separate them during cell division.

Normally, a single DNA break causes cells to arrest in metaphase of mitosis. Metaphase is a critical transition in the cell cycle because it is after this stage that chromosomes segregate to daughter cells. In their study, Toczyski and colleagues examined broken chromosomes both during the cells’ arrest in metaphase and after cells had overridden this arrest and attempted to segregate the broken chromosome. The researchers found that when both sister chromatids of a chromosome are cut -- a so-called double-strand break -- the two halves of a single broken sister chromatid often remain associated with each other through a mechanism involving DNA repair proteins; they also found evidence that the two sister chromatid fragments on one side of a chromosome break remain inappropriately associated during mitosis, leading to missegregation of the corresponding genetic material.


In a related paper, researchers employed special imaging techniques to visualize, in living cells, broken DNA ends after a double-strand break. The researchers, led by Kerry Bloom of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Michael Resnick of the NIH, showed that the chromosome ends corresponding the DNA break remain associated with each other, but that this association was dependent on the molecular DNA repair machinery: When a particulary important complex of repair proteins, termed the MRX complex, is disrupted, the ends of a broken chromosome often disperse away from one another. This dispersion indicates that part of the function of the DNA repair machinery after a double-strand break is to help DNA ends resist the pulling forces of the mitotic spindle. This keeps the broken ends together as the DNA is repaired and leads to proper chromosome segregation in mitosis.

Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cell.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>