In their most recent work, Cao and his colleagues discovered a new class of enzymes in that superfamily that lack the ability to repair uracil. A further study showed that this class of enzymes, instead, is engaged in the repair of deamination on the different building block adenine. This caught them by surprise because all known UDG enzymes are capable of uracil repair.
To further understand how this new class of enzymes works as a tool for repair, Cao and Dominy combined computational and biochemical methods to pinpoint the critical part of the repair machine that is responsible.
"What we learned from this work is that DNA repair toolkits have an amazing ability to evolve different repair functions for different kinds of DNA damage," Cao said. "This work also demonstrates how a combination of research approaches from different disciplines makes the discovery possible."
"Collaborative efforts involving computational and experimental investigative methods can greatly enhance the efficiency of scientific discovery, as well as provide more thorough answers to very important scientific questions," Dominy said. "In my opinion, the collaborative efforts between our two groups have demonstrated the substantial value of such interactions."
|Contact: Weiguo Cao|