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News RPA Protein band-aid's that protect DNA during replication

Article in 'News' Written by Arul Prakash Published Nov 22, 2013

  1. Researchers have shown that protein called RPA acts as a band-aid surrounding the DNA to protect it from damage during replication. They have also developed an analysis tool that could predict cell's response during cell damage, which could be used to assess future cancer therapies similar to chemotherapy.

    Research team headed by Professor Jiri Lukas from University of Copenhagen published their result on the Journal Cell revealing how cells protect DNA from fatal damage and the lack of a protein causes DNA damage in cells.

    rpa-protein-dna.
    Fig: DNA replication model
    Complete genome is a prerequisite for cells to be healthy. When they are damaged more often than not there is loss of a vital cell function.Until recently researchers couldn't study this process in detail but now with molecular modelling tools they have discovered the basic mechanism behind DNA protection during replication, and the role of RPA protein. Cells use RPA protein as a band-aid to protect their genome during replication. When there is a lack of RPA protein, cells will not be healthy and lack the ability to divide as the DNA is damage.

    RPA-replication-pathway.
    Fig: Active and Inactive ATR pathway during replication

    These findings have made significant contributions to understanding the fundamental process of cell physiology but equally important is the impact that this study would have on future research involving cancer cells. Knowing the difference in molecular processes that create cancer and normal cells could reveal new ways to treat and diagnose various diseases.

    “We now understand that many drugs used in chemotherapy are toxic against tumours because they make DNA replication difficult and force cancer cells to consume their RPA pool much faster than normal cells usually do. As a result, cancer cells are constantly at the verge of falling into a replication catastrophe, a condition from which they cannot recover, and which can be used as a powerful means to selectively eliminate cancer cells,” says Luis Ignacio Toledo.

    Further Reading: ATR Prohibits Replication Catastrophe by Preventing Global Exhaustion of RPA
    Luis Ignacio Toledo, Matthias Altmeyer, Maj-Britt Rask, Claudia Lukas, Dorthe Helena Larsen, Lou Klitgaard Povlsen, Simon Bekker-Jensen, Niels Mailand, Jiri Bartek, Jiri Lukas
    • Arul Prakash

      Article by Arul Prakash

      Editor and founder of BiotechCareer.Org. He is an Industrial Biotechnologists and also a web developer, gooner, blogger, and foodie.

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