Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New insights into DNA repair process may spur better cancer therapies

Date:
September 30, 2013
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
By detailing a process required for repairing DNA breakage, scientists have gained a better understanding of how cells deal with the barrage of damage that can contribute to cancer and other diseases.

By detailing a process required for repairing DNA breakage, scientists at the Duke Cancer Institute have gained a better understanding of how cells deal with the barrage of damage that can contribute to cancer and other diseases.

Related Articles


The insights, reported online the week of Sept. 30, 2013, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, build on earlier work by the research team and identify new prospects for developing cancer therapies.

The researchers have focused on a complex series of events that cells routinely undertake to repair DNA damaged by sun exposure, smoking and even normal metabolism. If not correctly repaired, DNA breakages can result in cellular damage leading to cancer.

"We never had good assays to measure how DNA breaks are repaired, and there were few good tools to study how that repair unfolds at the molecular level," said senior author Michael Kastan, M.D., PhD, executive director of the Duke Cancer Institute. "Our work for the first time enables us to both sensitively measure the repair of DNA breaks and study the molecular mechanisms by which they occur."

DNA inside the cell faces a challenge for repairing itself because it is so compacted in the cell nucleus. Tightly wrapped in a complex of proteins called chromatin, the DNA is spooled like thread around a protein structure called a nucleosome. DNA could suffer a breakage that would go unheeded if it remained deep within the reel.

The system developed by Kastan and colleagues induced DNA breakage at defined points on the DNA strands, enabling researchers to chronicle events as the cells launched the repair process.

What they described for the first time was a choreographed interaction in which the tightly wound DNA was temporarily loosened when a key protein, called nucleolin, was recruited to the breakage site, disrupting the nucleosome spool. The process was then reversed when the nucleosome was re-formed after repair was complete.

"Our study demonstrates for the first time the functional importance of nucleosome disruption in DNA repair," Kastan said. "This nucleosome disruption allows DNA repair proteins to access the DNA lesion and begin the process of mending the breakage."

Kastan said the finding provides key insights for how cells remain healthy, as well as how the repair process could potentially be manipulated. New cancer therapies, for instance, could target nucleolin to enhance sensitivity of tumor cells to radiation or chemotherapies, he said.

"This could give us an opportunity to make current treatments more potent," Kastan said. "That would be a next area of research, which we are especially interested in pursuing."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Goldstein, F. A. Derheimer, J. Tait-Mulder, M. B. Kastan. Nucleolin mediates nucleosome disruption critical for DNA double-strand break repair. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1306160110

Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "New insights into DNA repair process may spur better cancer therapies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930152837.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2013, September 30). New insights into DNA repair process may spur better cancer therapies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930152837.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "New insights into DNA repair process may spur better cancer therapies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930152837.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 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:

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