Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research may provide ways to inhibit cancer’s ability to resist treatments

04.03.2005


Discovery gives clinicians new targets for making existing therapies more effective and developing drugs to inhibit the growth of cancers



A team of researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto have discovered how a key enzyme involved in repairing DNA is put together and how it works--a development that opens up new therapies for making cancer cells more vulnerable to attack. The team has crystallized--or characterized in three dimensions--polynucleotide kinase (PNK), a key enzyme involved in a cell’s ability to repair single-strand and double-strand breaks in DNA.

"This gives us a clearer picture of how the enzyme works and opens up the possibility that we can develop drugs that inhibit cancer’s ability to repair itself and resist treatments," says Biochemistry professor Mark Glover, the lead author in the paper published in today’s issue of Molecular Cell.


Normally, explains Department of Oncology and Alberta Cancer Board researcher Michael Weinfeld, when a single- or double-strand break occurs, "the damaged ends need to be cleaned up before they can be rejoined" as an early step in the repair process. PNK is one of the key enzymes required to "polish" the strand break ends. Without it, cells are more sensitive to agents such as ionizing radiation or certain drugs that kill cells by damaging their DNA.

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is a large molecule shaped like a double helix found primarily in the chromosomes of the cell nucleus and contains the genetic information of the cell. Once damaged, cells have developed biochemical responses to repair the damage; when they can’t be repaired, cells die if the damage is too toxic. Or, if the damage is not lethal, mutations can occur that lead to cancer.

The paper is entitled The Molecular Architecture of the Mammalian DNA Repair Enzyme, Polynucleotide Kinase. The work builds on Dr. Weinfeld’s work on understanding DNA damage, Dr. Glover’s work on the basic biochemical processes involved in understanding breast cancer and Dr. Bernstein’s postdoctoral work.

The research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the National Cancer Institute of Canada and the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. Dr. Glover is also a Canada Research Chair.

The authors on the paper include: Drs. Glover and Weinfeld, Nina Bernstein, R. Scott Williams, Melissa Rakovszky, Diana Cui, Ruth Green, Feridoun Karimi-Busheri, Rajam Mani, Sarah Galicia, C. Anne Koch, Carol Cass and Daniel Durocher (Dr. Durocher has an appointment with the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto.)

Michael Robb | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ualberta.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The dark side of cichlid fish: from cannibal to caregiver
20.04.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

nachricht Enduring cold temperatures alters fat cell epigenetics
19.04.2018 | University of Tokyo

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Diamond-like carbon is formed differently to what was believed -- machine learning enables development of new model

19.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Electromagnetic wizardry: Wireless power transfer enhanced by backward signal

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Ultrafast electron oscillation and dephasing monitored by attosecond light source

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>