Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protecting genes, one molecule at a time

Date:
September 9, 2012
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
Scientists have shown at an unprecedented level of detail how cells prioritize the repair of genes containing potentially dangerous damage. The research studied the action of individual molecules in order to understand how cellular repair pathways are triggered.

An international team of scientists have shown at an unprecedented level of detail how cells prioritize the repair of genes containing potentially dangerous damage. The research, published in the journal Nature and involving academics from the University of Bristol, the Institut Jacques-Monod in France and Rockefeller University in the US, studied the action of individual molecules in order to understand how cellular repair pathways are triggered.

Related Articles


The genetic information that forms the "instruction booklet" for cells is encoded in the molecular building blocks of DNA, and can be damaged by mutagens such as ultraviolet light or tobacco smoke, as well as by normal "wear and tear" as the cells age. If left unrepaired, such damage can kill the cells or cause them to change their behaviour and perhaps cause disease.

Cells protect themselves by producing proteins that detect the damaged building blocks, cut them out and replace them with a patch of new DNA. Most cells, including bacteria and humans, contain mechanisms that ensure that the genes that are currently in use are repaired most quickly.

The team, led by Dr Terence Strick of the Institut Jacques Monod, Paris, used single molecules of DNA stretched in a magnetic field to watch individual proteins work on an active, damaged gene. They found that more steps are needed to repair the damage than previously thought, and that the length of time that the proteins reading the gene hesitate when they reach the damage is likely to be critical for a successful handover to the proteins that repair the gene.

Dr Nigel Savery from the University's School of Biochemistry, who led the Bristol-based part of the project, said: "Finding out how different parts of the genome are repaired at different rates is critical to understanding processes as diverse as generation of antibiotic resistance in bacteria and the patterns of mutations that give rise to cancer. Studying these processes at the level of single molecules has allowed us to detect important steps that are hidden when large numbers of molecules are studied together."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Kιvin Howan, Abigail J. Smith, Lars F. Westblade, Nicolas Joly, Wilfried Grange, Sylvain Zorman, Seth A. Darst, Nigel J. Savery, Terence R. Strick. Initiation of transcription-coupled repair characterized at single-molecule resolution. Nature, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nature11430

Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "Protecting genes, one molecule at a time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120909150353.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2012, September 9). Protecting genes, one molecule at a time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120909150353.htm
University of Bristol. "Protecting genes, one molecule at a time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120909150353.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
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:

More Coverage


Real-Time Observation of Single DNA Molecule Repair

Sep. 11, 2012 — DNA is constantly being damaged by environmental agents such as ultraviolet light or certain compounds present in cigarette smoke. Cells unceasingly implement repair mechanisms for this DNA, which ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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