Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein researchers unravel the molecular dance of DNA repair

Date:
March 15, 2012
Source:
University of Copenhagen
Summary:
Using state-of-the-art technology, scientists have successfully obtained "molecular snapshots" of tens of thousands processes involved in DNA damage repair. The results will help unravel exactly how cells repair their broken DNA, how chemotherapy affects cells' workings and will assist in the discovery of new drugs with fewer side effects.

Using state-of-the-art technology, scientists at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research at the University of Copenhagen and their international collaborators have successfully obtained molecular snapshots of tens of thousands processes involved in DNA damage repair. On a daily basis this restoration keeps cells healthy and prevents the development of cancer. The results of this study will help unravel exactly how cells repair their broken DNA, how chemotherapy affects cellsด workings and will assist in the discovery of new drugs with fewer side effects.

"DNA repair is vital in keeping cells healthy. So unraveling the molecular details of how a cell communicates when its DNA is broken will help us understand how cells protect their genomes," Associate Professor Chunaram Choudhary from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research says.

"We know, for example, that chemotherapy kills cancer cells by damaging their DNA. This happens because the fast growing cancer cells are more sensitive to DNA damage than healthy cells. However, how exactly chemotherapy works on a cellular level is still a mystery. Once we understand the molecular consequences of chemotherapy on cancer cells, we could begin to work on ways to protect healthy cells during treatment of patients with cancer," postdoc Petra Beli explains.

Daily DNA damage threatens healthy cells

Everything from sun tanning to environmental factors and normal metabolic processes inside the cell damages the DNA of that cell every day. This in turn can lead to production of faulty proteins that -- if not repaired -- could go on to become the driver of cancer development.

To prevent these devastating effects, damaged DNA triggers an elaborate alarm system, which sets of a chain reaction in the cell, to slow processes, terminate others and wait, while legions of molecules go to work on the damaged DNA.

"Identification of proteins that are crucial for repairing broken DNA may help find new drug targets, and by using such very specific drugs it may also become possible to minimize the side effects, which occur when a drug hits too broadly in the body," Chunaram Choudhary continues.

Much remains to be learned

DNA repair has been studied intensely for years, but Associate Professor Choudhary and his group at the Department of Proteomics along with his collaborators from University of Cambridge and Max Planck Institute are the first to unravel tens of thousands of molecular signaling events involved in this complex process.

"We first damaged the DNA of cells using radiation or chemical drugs and then used a technique called mass spectrometry, which is a way of precisely determining the identity of proteins and their chemical modifications," Petra Beli says.

"This allowed us to follow thousands of protein modifications that happened in the process of DNA repair, shedding new light on how the networks of biochemical signals are regulated and how the infrastructure of alerts works."

The data from the experiments is so extensive that it will require much further work by researchers to fully understand the significance and impact of these newly identified signaling pathways. The article Proteomic Investigations Reveal a Role for RNA Processing Factor THRAP3 in the DNA Damage Response is published online in the journal Molecular Cell on 15 March.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Petra Beli, Natalia Lukashchuk, Sebastian A. Wagner, Brian T. Weinert, Jesper V. Olsen, Linda Baskcomb, Matthias Mann, Stephen P. Jackson, Chunaram Choudhary. Proteomic Investigations Reveal a Role for RNA Processing Factor THRAP3 in the DNA Damage Response. Molecular Cell, 15 March 2012 DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2012.01.026

Cite This Page:

University of Copenhagen. "Protein researchers unravel the molecular dance of DNA repair." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120315123022.htm>.
University of Copenhagen. (2012, March 15). Protein researchers unravel the molecular dance of DNA repair. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120315123022.htm
University of Copenhagen. "Protein researchers unravel the molecular dance of DNA repair." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120315123022.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. 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