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DNA damage: The dark side of respiration
Date:5/22/2013

anine normally does not team up with adenine," Carell notes.

FaPy-G is subsequently recognized as abnormal and is removed by DNA repair enzymes. The missing base is replaced by a T which is the usual partner for A. The net result is that the original G:C base pair has been converted into an A:T pair, and the base sequence has undergone a potentially dangerous mutation.

This outcome is made possible by the fact that the cell's damage-control systems find it surprisingly difficult to distinguish the normal guanine base from its aberrant derivative FaPy-G during DNA replication. "That this defect then leads to mispairing with adenine is one of the main reasons for the spontaneous development of tumors," says Carell. "So with every breath we take, our risk of getting cancer goes up by a teeny-weeny bit." Further insights into the reasons why FaPy-G often eludes the cell's detection and correction systems could help to improve the treatment of cancer, as the inhibition of DNA repair processes in tumor cells increases their sensitivity to chemotherapeutic drugs.


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Contact: Luise Dirscherl
dirscherl@lmu.de
49-892-180-2706
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt Mnchen
Source:Eurekalert

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