Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Scientists identify ‘long distance scanner’ for DNA damage

Published: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Bookmark and Share
BBSRC-funded scientists at the University of Bristol have discovered that a mechanism for preventing mutation within important genes involves long distance scanning of DNA by a molecular motor protein.

The results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), show that the method for detecting DNA damage within active genes is more sophisticated than previously thought.
The research team hope that the mechanistic insights provided by this study will help to explain the complicated genome-wide patterns of mutation that underlie the evolution of new species, also causing dangerous changes in cell behaviour.

The genetic information stored within the DNA of all living organisms contains the instructions which ensure cells function correctly. If the DNA is damaged, either by external agents such as the ultraviolet light present in sunshine or by chemical reactions that occur naturally within cells, the instructions can become corrupted by mutations.

Mutations that alter critical genes can lead to diseases such as cancer, or can enable pathogens such as bacteria to acquire new and dangerous characteristics such as antibiotic resistance.
Because the information within the DNA is so important, cells invest a huge amount of effort in repairing the damage before it can cause harm. But because damage is occurring continuously, and the cell does not have limitless resources, the repair activity must be targeted to the regions of greatest need.

When patterns of mutation are studied, it is clear that genes which are switched on are repaired first, with the inactive parts of the genome being repaired much more slowly.

Research over the past 20 years has shown that this two-tier system of repair relies on the ability of the molecular machines that read the active genes, called RNA polymerases, to sense the DNA damage and attract DNA repair systems to the problems that they have detected.
Researchers from the University of Bristol's School of Biochemistry have now shown that a molecular motor protein called Mfd - the first helper to be attracted by RNA polymerase when it gets into difficulties - acts as a long distance scanner for DNA damage.

Professor Nigel Savery, who led the group, said "Our results show that the method for detecting DNA damage within active genes is more sophisticated than expected. The pathway that links DNA repair to gene expression has the potential to act over much greater distances than previously thought, because once it has been loaded onto the DNA by an RNA polymerase this first-response motor protein travels for hundreds of base pairs - the building blocks of the DNA double helix - in search of damage.

"Our work also provides the first indication that sequences of DNA where RNA polymerases briefly slow down and pause may be acting as signals for the DNA repair proteins to scrutinise the neighbouring DNA particularly carefully."



Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Expanding the DNA Alphabet: 'Extra' DNA Base Found to be Stable in Mammals
A rare DNA base, previously thought to be a temporary modification, has been shown to be stable in mammalian DNA, suggesting that it plays a key role in cellular function.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Researchers Use ‘Big Data’ Approach to Map the Relationships Between Human and Animal Diseases
EID2 database used to prevent and tackle disease outbreaks around the globe.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
TGAC at the Forefront of Next Generation Sequencing Capability
The Genome Analysis Centre adds two Illumina HiSeq 2500 machines to its platform suite.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
£12M for Synthetic Biology Facilities and Training
The UK Research Councils, led by the BBSRC, will award £10M to establish five centres for DNA synthesis across the UK to further develop the UK's research base in synthetic biology.
Monday, April 07, 2014
UK Establishes Three New Synthetic Biology Research Centres
Bristol, Nottingham and a Cambridge/Norwich partnership will be UK centres for synthetic biology.
Friday, January 31, 2014
New Chromosome Map Points the Way Through Campylobacter’s Genetic Controls
The Institute of Food Research has produced a new map of the Campylobacter genome, showing the points where all of this pathogenic bacteria's genes are turned on.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
BBSRC Invests £10 M in Synthetic Biology
The investment has been allocated to the fund by the BBSRC in response to the 2012 Synthetic Biology Roadmap, which sets out plans to harness opportunities in this area.
Thursday, November 07, 2013
A Community Based Approach for Tackling the Post-Genomic Data Deluge
Correspondence highlights the benefits of a community approach to gathering data that can help improve our understanding of the functions of genes.
Monday, October 14, 2013
‘X-Shape’ Not True Picture of Chromosome Structure, New Imaging Technique Reveals
First 3D pictures of chromosome structure revealed.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Moving Genes have Scientists Seeing Spots
An international team of scientists has perfected a way of watching genes move within a living plant cell.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Advance in Understanding Genome Reproduction
Researchers have provided new insight into how chromosome integrity is threatened each time a cell grows and divides, helping to underpin our knowledge of healthy aging.
Thursday, August 01, 2013
£60,000 Competition to Recognise Innovative Scientists Launched by BBSRC
Innovator of the Year 2014 competition launched by BBSRC to recognise and reward scientist's whose excellent science and innovations are delivering real world impact.
Friday, July 12, 2013
Babraham Scientists Establish Cancer-Focussed Collaboration with AstraZeneca
Partnership aims to advance cancer research and develop and evaluate new therapeutic strategies to tackle prostate and pancreatic cancers.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Pig Disease that Costs Millions Targeted by Genetic Study
A fast mutating virus that affects pig herds and costs pork producers millions of pounds each year is being targeted by scientists.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Scientists Identify Brain’s ‘Molecular Memory Switch’
Common fruit fly key to discovery as to how memories are written into brain cells.
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Scientific News
Liquid Biopsies: Utilization of Circulating Biomarkers for Minimally Invasive Diagnostics Development
Market Trends in Biofluid-based Liquid Biopsies: Deploying Circulating Biomarkers in the Clinic. Enal Razvi, Ph.D., Managing Director, Select Biosciences, Inc.
Genetic Tug of War
Researchers have reported on a version of genetic parental control in mice that is more targeted, and subtle than canonical imprinting.
Error Correction Mechanism in Cell Division
Cell biologists have reported an advance in understanding the workings of an error correction mechanism that helps cells detect and correct mistakes in cell division early enough to prevent chromosome mis-segregation and aneuploidy, that is, having too many or too few chromosomes.
How to Become a Follicular T Helper Cell
Uncovering the signals that govern the fate of T helper cells is a big step toward improved vaccine design.
Researchers Resurrect Ancient Viruses
Researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Schepens Eye Research Institute have reconstructed an ancient virus that is highly effective at delivering gene therapies to the liver, muscle, and retina.
Cell Aging Slowed by Putting Brakes on Noisy Transcription
Experiments in yeast hint at ways to extend life of some human cells.
Long Telomeres Associated with Increased Lung Cancer Risk
Genetic predisposition for long telomeres predicts increased lung adenocarcinoma risk.
Expanding the Brain
A team of researchers has identified more than 40 new “imprinted” genes, in which either the maternal or paternal copy of a gene is expressed while the other is silenced.
Identifying a Key Growth Factor in Cell Proliferation
Researchers discover that aspartate is a limiter of cell proliferation.
Study Uncovers Target for Preventing Huntington’s Disease
Scientists from Cardiff University believe that a treatment to prevent or delay the symptoms of Huntington’s disease could now be much closer, following a major breakthrough.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!