Thursday, October 27, 2016

Structure of key DNA replication protein solved

A research team led by scientists at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) has solved the three-dimensional structure of a key protein that helps damaged cellular DNA repair itself. Investigators say that knowing the chemical structure of the protein will likely help drug designers build novel anti-cancer agents.

The study, published in the October 21 issue of the journal Science Advances, involved a team of investigators from multiple institutions, who worked for more than two years to decipher the unusual configuration of the protein PrimPol, whose function was discovered in 2013. PrimPol is used in cells when normal repair proteins encounter damaged sections of DNA, often caused by anticancer chemotherapy drugs. The protein can skip over the damage to rescue DNA replication, says the study's senior investigator, Aneel K. Aggarwal, PhD, Professor of Pharmacological and Oncological Sciences at ISMMS.

"PrimPol can counter the anti-cancer action of common chemotherapeutic agents such as cisplatin. By inhibiting PrimPol, we believe that we can increase the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of many cancers," he says.

Source & further reading:

Corina Marinescu

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