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New Research Unravels How Proteins Help Repair DNA

Date:
June 23, 2009
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
A person's DNA is often damaged by a number of different chemical contaminants, and if not repaired properly, it can lead to the development of cancer and other diseases. Researchers have now discovered how damaged DNA is recognized and repaired. This could lead to improved treatment of cancer and other diseases.

A person's DNA is often damaged by a number of different chemical contaminants, and if not repaired properly, it can lead to the development of cancer and other diseases. Through an international collaboration, University of Alberta researchers Chris Le and Michael Weinfeld have discovered how damaged DNA is recognized and repaired. This could lead to improved treatment of cancer and other diseases.

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The team, from the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, used a new technology to monitor the early steps in the repair of the damage. They found that the proteins that initially recognize the damage amplify the distortion of the DNA around the damaged site by bending the DNA and separating the strands of the double helix. This makes it easier for the next protein to recognize and cut out the damaged portion of the DNA. The cells then patch up the empty space using the healthy half of the DNA as a model to repair the cell to its original state.

The study was conducted using a DNA repair system operated in E. coli, but the findings are applicable to other cells because they adopt similar systems. To study the processes, the U of A team developed an advanced bio-analytical technique that enables dynamic monitoring of bio-molecular interactions. This could be highly useful in many other studies around the world.

Le and Weinfeld's research is published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hailin Wang, Meiling Lu, Moon-shong Tang, Bennett Van Houten, J. B. Alexander Ross, Michael Weinfeld, and X. Chris Le. DNA wrapping is required for DNA damage recognition in the Escherichia coli DNA nucleotide excision repair pathway. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0902281106

Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "New Research Unravels How Proteins Help Repair DNA." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615171519.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2009, June 23). New Research Unravels How Proteins Help Repair DNA. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615171519.htm
University of Alberta. "New Research Unravels How Proteins Help Repair DNA." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090615171519.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

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