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New research reveals details of microbe's extraordinary maintenance and repair system
Date:12/10/2010

the University of Bristol's School of Biochemistry has purified each of the many individual components of this "transcription-coupled" DNA repair pathway from the bacterium Escherichia coli and rebuilt the system in a test-tube. This allowed them to investigate the effects of disabling different parts of the different machines and hence to work out what is required to prioritise certain sections of DNA for repair. The team found that different proteins take responsibility for spotting damage in different situations, and explained how one of the central machines is able to turn itself off when it is not working, in order to decrease the "fuel consumption" of the system.

Dr Savery said: "This work is an example of "basic research", it is a fundamental study of the molecular mechanisms of an important biological function that is conserved from bacteria to man, and was begun in a spirit of scientific exploration rather than with a view to an immediate technological or medical application. However, like all basic research it provides the foundation of knowledge upon which technological and medical advances are built. In this case the work provides knowledge and experimental tools that may help to explain how this transcription-coupled DNA repair pathway, which normally prevents mutation, acts to increase the frequency with which antibiotic-resistant mutants of bacteria involved in food poisoning arise."


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Contact: Caroline Clancy
caroline.clancy@bristol.ac.uk
44-117-928-7777
University of Bristol
Source:Eurekalert

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