Navigation Links
Protecting genes, one molecule at a time

An international team of scientists have shown at an unprecedented level of detail how cells prioritise the repair of genes containing potentially dangerous damage. The research, published in the journal Nature and involving academics from the University of Bristol, the Institut Jacques-Monod in France and Rockefeller University in the US, studied the action of individual molecules in order to understand how cellular repair pathways are triggered.

The genetic information that forms the "instruction booklet" for cells is encoded in the molecular building blocks of DNA, and can be damaged by mutagens such as ultraviolet light or tobacco smoke, as well as by normal "wear and tear" as the cells age. If left unrepaired, such damage can kill the cells or cause them to change their behaviour and perhaps cause disease.

Cells protect themselves by producing proteins that detect the damaged building blocks, cut them out and replace them with a patch of new DNA. Most cells, including bacteria and humans, contain mechanisms that ensure that the genes that are currently in use are repaired most quickly.

The team, led by Dr Terence Strick of the Institut Jacques Monod, Paris, used single molecules of DNA stretched in a magnetic field to watch individual proteins work on an active, damaged gene. They found that more steps are needed to repair the damage than previously thought, and that the length of time that the proteins reading the gene hesitate when they reach the damage is likely to be critical for a successful handover to the proteins that repair the gene.

Dr Nigel Savery from the University's School of Biochemistry, who led the Bristol-based part of the project, said: "Finding out how different parts of the genome are repaired at different rates is critical to understanding processes as diverse as generation of antibiotic resistance in bacteria and the patterns of mutations that give rise to cancer. Studying these processes at the level of single molecules has allowed us to detect important steps that are hidden when large numbers of molecules are studied together."


Contact: Caroline Clancy
University of Bristol

Related biology news :

1. Wild bees: Champions for food security and protecting our biodiversity
2. Protecting your brain: Use it or lose it
3. Penn biologists identify a key enzyme involved in protecting nerves from degeneration
4. Protecting living fossil trees
5. Nano-velcro clasps heavy metal molecules in its grips
6. University of Alberta medical scientists first in the world to look at structure of vital molecule
7. Scripps Florida scientists design molecule that reverses some fragile X syndrome defects
8. Weighing molecules 1 at a time
9. New model gives hands-on help for learning the secrets of molecules
10. Potential drug molecule shows enhanced anti-HIV activity
11. Iowa State, Ames Lab researchers invent new tool to study single biological molecules
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/27/2015)... 2015 In the present market scenario, security ... various industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, electronic ... demand for secure & simplified access control and growing ... hacking of bank accounts, misuse of users, , and ... PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected to provide potential ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... ALTO, Calif. and LAS VEGAS ... Nok Nok Labs , an innovator in modern ... Alliance , today announced the launch of its latest ... first unified platform enabling organizations to use standards-based authentication ... The Nok Nok S3 Authentication Suite is ideal for ...
(Date:10/22/2015)... Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ), a leading supplier of biometrics software ... September 30, 2015.  --> --> ... a decrease of 33% compared to $6.0 million in the same ... was $2.2 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, which compared to ... a year ago.  --> --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds the third-largest share ... The trend of outsourcing to low-cost locations is ... volume share for the region in the short ... in the CRO industry will improve. ... ), finds that the market earned revenues ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... VANCOUVER , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - iCo ... ICOTF), today reported financial results for the quarter ... are expressed in Canadian dollars and presented under ... the United States ," said Andrew ... "These advancements regarding iCo-008 are not only value ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Global, Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research services headquartered in ... company has set a new quarterly earnings record in Q3 of ... for Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015.   ... with the establishment of an Asia-Pacific office ... Kingdom and Mexico , with the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 SHPG ) ... participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference ... December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). ... Chief Financial Officer, will participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 th ... , NY on Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST ...
Breaking Biology Technology: