April 16, 2024

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Tokyo University Researchers Unveil Mechanism for DNA Repair

Tokyo University Researchers Unveil Mechanism for DNA Repair, Paving the Way for Cancer Treatment Advances



Tokyo University Researchers Unveil Mechanism for DNA Repair, Paving the Way for Cancer Treatment Advances

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have announced that they have elucidated the mechanism by which a protein called “RAD51” repairs double-strand breaks in DNA, which is composed of two chains forming a double helix structure.

DNA is frequently broken by factors such as ultraviolet and ionizing radiation, as well as reactive oxygen species in the body. Failure in repairing these breaks can lead to cancer, so the findings are expected to contribute to the development of treatments that suppress cancer. The paper was published in the scientific journal Nature on the 21st.

 

 

Tokyo University Researchers Unveil Mechanism for DNA Repair, Paving the Way for Cancer Treatment Advances

 

The DNA of eukaryotic organisms, including humans, is housed in the cell nucleus in a structure called a “nucleosome,” which is tightly wound around core proteins. While it was known that RAD51 is involved in repairing breaks in DNA, the specific mechanism was not understood.

Professor Hitoshi Kurumizaka and his team at the Institute of Quantitative Biosciences at the University of Tokyo used cryo-electron microscopy, which allows for the observation of three-dimensional structures, to investigate the process of DNA repair by RAD51.

As a result, they found that RAD51 binds to the nucleosome in a ring-shaped structure and, when DNA is broken, it unwinds the damaged part that is wound around it, progressing with the repair.

Furthermore, it was discovered that RAD51 has a binding site that specifically attaches to the nucleosome. Mutations have been found in this site in breast cancer and colorectal cancer. Professor Kurumizaka stated, “It may be possible to develop treatment methods by effectively supplementing this site.”

Tokyo University Researchers Unveil Mechanism for DNA Repair, Paving the Way for Cancer Treatment Advances

(source:internet, reference only)


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