A protein that helps embryonic stem cells (ESCs) retain their identity also promotes DNA repair, according to a study in The Journal of Cell Biology. The findings raise the possibility that the protein, Sall4, performs a similar role in cancer cells, helping them fix DNA damage to survive chemotherapy.
Fixing broken DNA is particularly important for ESCs because they will pass on any mutations to their differentiated descendants. Mouse ESCs are adept at making repairs—they carry far fewer mutations than do differentiated cells—but how they achieve this isn’t clear.
A team of researchers led by Yang Xu, from the University of California, San Diego, tested whether the protein Sall4, which suppresses differentiation of ESCs, has a role in DNA repair.
The researchers found that ESCs lacking Sall4 were poor at mending double-strand breaks, a hazardous form of DNA damage in which both strands of the double helix are severed. They also observed that, after inducing DNA damage in mouse ESCs, Sall4 associated with proteins known to be involved in DNA repair.
Overall, their findings support a model for how Sall4 is recruited to the sites of these breaks and activates ATM, a kinase that signals DNA damage and instigates repair. Because tumor cells often overexpress Sall4, the protein might similarly help them repair DNA damage. Sall4 could therefore be considered a target for drug development in cancer biology.
Xiong, J., et al. 2015. J. Cell Biol. doi:10.1083/jcb.201408106
About The Journal of Cell Biology
The Journal of Cell Biology (JCB) is published by The Rockefeller University Press. All editorial decisions on manuscripts submitted are made by active scientists in conjunction with our in-house scientific editors. JCB content is posted to PubMed Central, where it is available to the public for free six months after publication. Authors retain copyright of their published works, and third parties may reuse the content for non-commercial purposes under a creative commons license.
For more information, please visit www.jcb.org
Rita Sullivan King
Rita Sullivan King | newswise
A room with a view - or how cultural differences matter in room size perception
25.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für biologische Kybernetik
Studying a catalyst for blood cancers
25.04.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
25.04.2017 | Life Sciences
25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences