Friday, July 28, 2006

 

Unusual Mechanism Keeps Repair Protein Accurate

Cancer researchers have discovered that a recently identified protein critical for repairing damaged genes uses an unusual mechanism to keep its repairs accurate.

The protein, called DNA polymerase lambda, is one of a group of proteins known as DNA polymerases that are vital for accurately making and repairing DNA.

But while other DNA-repair proteins insure their accuracy with the help of so-called proof-reading regions or accessory molecules, this protein maintains its accuracy using an otherwise ordinary-looking portion of its molecular structure.

The study was led by Zucai Suo, assistant professor of biochemistry and a researcher with the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. The research, published in the July 14 issue of The Journal of Biological Chemistry (Abstract), provides new insights into how cells repair damaged DNA.

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