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 New insights into the information processing of motor neurons
22.02.2017 | Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

nachricht Wintering ducks connect isolated wetlands by dispersing plant seeds
22.02.2017 | Utrecht University

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

Positrons as a new tool for lithium ion battery research: Holes in the electrode

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New insights into the information processing of motor neurons

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Healthy Hiking in Smart Socks

22.02.2017 | Innovative Products

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>