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Bacterial AlkB protein and its corresponding human protein, ABH2 chemically cross-linked with strands of DNA. (Source: Chuan He, University of Chicago)
A team of University of Chicago scientists has shown how two proteins locate and repair damaged genetic material inside cells. One protein detects and repairs damage in malignant cells that may result from a certain type of cancer therapy. In a paper published in Nature, the team raised the possibility of designing a molecule that could interfere with the repair process, making cancer treatment more effective.
The scientists determined, for the first time, the crystal structures (showing the three-dimensional framework of atoms) of two related DNA-repair proteins bound to double-stranded DNA: a bacterial protein called AlkB, and a corresponding human protein, ABH2. Scientists had been seeking the structures of these proteins to better understand how they perform their key roles in repairing DNA.
This article was published in Drug Discovery & Development magazine: Vol. 11, No. 5, May, 2008, pp. 40.
Filed Under: Genomics/Proteomics