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DNA Repair Mechanism Aids Cancer by Mending Chemo Damage

05:34 EST 9 Nov 2017 | Genetic Engineering News

Chemotherapy could be more effective if it were combined with the inhibition of a newly discovered form of DNA repair, a mechanism that cells activate to fix exactly the sort of damage that many chemotherapy drugs cause--or are supposed to cause. The relevant chemotherapy drugs are alkylating agents, which try to kill cancer cells by adding alkyl groups to DNA. These debilitating accretions, however, can be removed by an alkylation repair complex. This repair complex is recruited to damage sites via a signaling pathway, one that has recently been described by scientists based at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The scientists reported their findings November 8 in the journal Nature, in an article entitled, "A ubiquitin-dependent signalling axis specific for ALKBH-mediated DNA dealkylation repair." The article notes that although biochemical mechanisms for repairing several forms of genomic insults are well understood, important gaps ...

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