Frog eggs help researchers understand repair of DNA damages | 1/23/2019 | Staff
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Frog eggs used in the study which are xenopus laevis eggs. Credit: Christian Arán.

The DNA replication process in which cells divide to create new cells also triggers repair of DNA damage, researchers from the University of Copenhagen report in a new study. The researchers studied extracts from frog eggs, which have proteins very similar to those of human cells. The researchers hope the new research results can be used to develop more effective treatments for cancer in the long run.

DNA - Damage - Lesions - Body - Mechanism

DNA is subject to constant damage and lesions, which the body must repair. But the precise mechanism has not been established in full. The University of Copenhagen researchers have now discovered some of the pathways used by the cells to repair DNA damage. The research results have been published in 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 lesions 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.

Damages - Body - Cancer - Knowledge - Regard

"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 on...
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