Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein found that improves DNA repair under stress

Date:
June 17, 2011
Source:
University of Rochester
Summary:
Scientists have discovered an important new mechanism that allows cells to recognize when they are under stress and prime the DNA repair machinery to respond to the threat of damage.

Cells in the human body are constantly being exposed to stress from environmental chemicals or errors in routine cellular processes. While stress can cause damage, it can also provide the stimulus for undoing the damage. New research by a team of scientists at the University of Rochester has unveiled an important new mechanism that allows cells to recognize when they are under stress and prime the DNA repair machinery to respond to the threat of damage. Their findings are published in the current issue of Science.

The scientists, led by biologists Vera Gorbunova and Andrei Seluanov, focused on the most dangerous type of DNA damage -- double strand breaks. Unrepaired, this type of damage can lead to premature aging and cancer. They studied how oxidative stress affects efficiency of DNA repair. Oxidative stress occurs when the body is unable to neutralize the highly-reactive molecules, which are typically produced during routine cellular activities.

The research team found that human cells undergoing oxidative stress synthesized more of a protein called SIRT6. By increasing SIRT6 levels, cells were able to stimulate their ability to repair double strand breaks. When the cells were treated with a drug that inactivated SIRT6, DNA repair came to a halt, thus confirming the role of SIRT6 in DNA repair. Gorbunova notes that the SIRT6 protein is structurally related to another protein, SIR2, which has been shown to extend lifespan in multiple model organisms.

"SIRT6 also affects DNA repair when there is no oxidative stress," explains Gorbunova. "It's just that the effect is magnified when the cells are challenged with even small amounts of oxidative stress." SIRT6 allows the cells to be economical with their resources, priming the repair enzymes only when there is damage that needs to be repaired. Thus SIRT6 may be a master regulator that coordinates stress and DNA repair activities, according to Gorbunova.

SIRT6 does not act alone to repair DNA. Gorbunova and her group also showed that, in response to stress, SIRT6 acts on a protein called PARP1 to initiate DNA repair. PARP1 is an enzyme that is one of the "first responders" to DNA damage and is involved in several DNA repair machineries. By increasing the levels of SIRT6, the Rochester team found that cells were able to more rapidly direct DNA repair enzymes to sites of damage and hasten the repair of double strand breaks.

The next step for Gorbunova and Seluanov is to identify the chemical activators that increase the activity of SIRT6. Once that discovery is made, Gorbunova said it may be possible to apply the results to therapies that prevent the onset of certain aging-related diseases.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Zhiyong Mao, Christopher Hine, Xiao Tian, Michael Van Meter, Matthew Au, Amita Vaidya, Andrei Seluanov, Vera Gorbunova. SIRT6 Promotes DNA Repair Under Stress by Activating PARP1. Science, 17 June 2011: Vol. 332 no. 6036 pp. 1443-1446 DOI: 10.1126/science.1202723

Cite This Page:

University of Rochester. "Protein found that improves DNA repair under stress." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110616142722.htm>.
University of Rochester. (2011, June 17). Protein found that improves DNA repair under stress. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110616142722.htm
University of Rochester. "Protein found that improves DNA repair under stress." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110616142722.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins