Venerdì, 21 Settembre 2018
MILAN

DNA error-cutting protein identified

English
© ANSA

Milan, April 24 - Milan medical researchers have
identified a protein that guides the process of repairing errors
during DNA replication, creating new hope for future treatment
of cancer and other illnesses stemming from genetic dysfunction.
The study conducted by researchers at the University of
Milan, with the collaboration of the University of Zurich, with
lead authors Marco Muzi Falconi, Paolo Plevani and Federico
Lazzaro, was published in Molecular Cell magazine.
Tissue and organ formation need complete copies of all
genetic information contained in DNA be passed down faithfully
from parent cells to their offspring cells - a replication
process that requires extreme precision.
The precision of genetic duplication is ensured by a
specific repair mechanism called DNA mismatch repair (MMR),
which identifies any errors, such as omissions or erroneous
insertion, and corrects them.
Alterations to MMR has been found to be behind genetic
predispositions to intestinal cancer and other tumours.
Using human and yeast cells, the researchers identified the
mechanism that informs MMR where to repair the error.
A protein called RNasi H2 plays a central role in the
process by cutting the DNA chain near the error, which allows
the MMR to remove the erroneous information and substitute it
with correct information.
"This discovery could have an important impact on research
for new anti-tumour pharmaceuticals and for the development of
new chemotherapy strategies," the researchers said.
"But the work seems to open prospects also in a second
direction. Poor functioning of the RNasi H2 protein causes the
well known genetic pathology Aicardi-Coutieres Syndrome, the
mechanism of pathogenisis of which is still unknown," the
researchers added.
"Further research could verify whether the process
identified by the work just published is connected with the
onset (of the disease)," the researchers concluded.

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