by Iswarya on  December 27, 2019 at 10:48 AM Research News
IIT Hyderabad Team Reveals How a Protein Repairs DNA Damage
Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad researchers has discovered the working of a protein that repairs damaged DNA. In humans, this special class of proteins called 'DNA proteins' gets activated in response to damaged DNA. The findings of the study are published in the journal Nucleic Acid Research.

With more awareness about the impact of DNA damage on all diseases, there is a global effort to learn how these repair proteins work, both as an educational exercise and as the foundation for therapeutic interventions.

The study headed by Dr. Anindya Roy, Associate Professor, Department of Biotechnology, IIT Hyderabad.

The study results, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Arun Goyal, Professor, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Guwahati.

Any DNA damage can result in outcomes that can range from mild unperceivable changes, like the sudden appearance of a harmless mole, to fatal diseases, like cancer. The retention of DNA integrity is, hence, vital for the proper function and survival of all organisms. The protection of DNA is daunting as the possibility of damage by external sources and the inherent instability of DNA itself.

"Our laboratory at IIT Hyderabad attempts to understand the workings of the DNA damage repair proteins. Certain types of chemicals produced spontaneously in the body can cause DNA damages and, if not fixed quickly, may trigger cell death," reports Dr. Anindya Roy.

The doctoral student in his lab Ms. Monisha Mohan found the mechanism by which these DNA repair proteins accumulate when DNA is under threat. They investigated the action of one specific protein called ALKBH3 or alkB homolog 3 and the team have unraveled the mechanism by which ALKBH3 brings about demethylation.

"We have discovered that ALKBH3 has a direct protein-protein interaction with another protein called RAD51C, and this communication stimulates ALKBH3-mediated repair of methyl-adduct found within 3- tailed DNA", explains Dr. Anindya Roy on the technical aspects of their discovery.

The team is excited by the universality of the mechanism because it is just as suitable to the bacterium as it is to humans. "The knowledge obtained from our studies might, in the long term, be useful from a cancer therapeutic perspective," believes Dr. Anindya Roy.

Source: Medindia

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