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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

DNA Repair in Mice with BRCA1 Gene Mutations

Posted by Prahallad Panda on 7:13 AM Comments

The structure of part of a DNA double helixChromosome Model
It may be possible in the near future that researchers will be able to identify all the factors those play their role in transforming normal cells to abnormal; initiating and sustaining uncontrolled growth, and rendering them resistant to treatment.
A more collaborative approach and information sharing is perhaps the key. 
clipped from www.cancer.gov

Scientists Restore DNA Repair in Mice with BRCA1 Gene Mutations

The gene BRCA1 plays an important role in repairing DNA damage that inevitably occurs as cells replicate. Through a pathway known as homologous recombination (HR), the gene helps cells make repairs and prevent further genetic changes that could set the stage for cancer.
But as a new study in mice suggests, multiple pathways may actually compete with one another to repair DNA damage within cells. The study further suggests that it may be possible to restore the HR pathway and promote faithful DNA repair in cells with BRCA1 mutations.
An enzyme called DNA ligase repairing a broken strand of DNA
An enzyme called DNA ligase repairs a broken strand of DNA. (Image courtesy of Dr. Tom Ellenberger, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.)
Some repair pathways, he noted, do more harm than good. While the HR pathway is essentially free of errors, the 53BP1-associated pathway produces genetic mutations that increase the risk of cancer when the BRCA1 protein is absent.
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