The body's DNA is subject to constant damages and lesions, which the body must repair. But precisely how the body does this, has not been established in full. Now researchers from the University of Copenhagen have uncovered some of the pathways used by the cells to repair DNA damages. The research results have been published in the scientific journal Molecular Cell.
Harmful DNA lesions may occur in a number of ways and can both be a result of internal and external factors. The type of damage studied by the researchers is called DNA-protein crosslinks. It is a type of damage that is very difficult to study. To do so, the researchers prepared protein extracts from frog eggs, which recapitulates the repair of the lesion in a test tube. These extracts contain the same proteins that are found in human cells, and therefore represent a good model to study these lesions.
'It - Damages - Body - Cancer - Knowledge
'It is vital to understand how these damages are repaired, because if they are not corrected, the body will develop cancer and accelerated aging. But it is also central knowledge with regard to cancer and chemotherapy. Most chemotherapeutic agents deliberately induce these kinds of damages. If we are able to understand how the damages are repaired, we can use that knowledge to develop a form of combination treatment, where we induce damage, on the one hand, and inhibit the cancer cells' repair hereof, on the other. This would give us a more efficient way of killing cancer cells,' says last author of the study, Associate Professor Julien Duxin from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research.
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