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DNA Repair Enzyme Caught In The Act

 
  April, 5 2005 9:55
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     
In the 31 March 2005 issue of Nature (Vol. 434, No. 7033, pp 612-618), researchers report the chemical structure of an enzyme vital for repairing routine damage to our DNA that is caused by oxidative damage. Their snap-shot of the protein captures it in the act of testing DNA for errors.

When oxidants attack DNA they can subtly alter the molecular building block guanine (G), creating a variation called 8-oxoguanine that can cause permanent mutations. The enzyme 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase 1 (OGG1) recognizes and repairs 8-oxoguanine, and mutations in it have been linked to lung and possibly kidney cancer.

By determining the X-ray structure of human OGG1 bound to undamaged DNA, Gregory Verdine and his colleagues reveal how the enzyme efficiently scans for abnormal guanine residues embedded in a vast expanse of normal DNA, and how it removes them from the DNA helix without damaging normal bases.

CONTACT

Gregory Verdine (Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA)
E-mail: verdine@chemistry.harvard.edu

Sheila S. David (University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA)
E-mail: david@chem.utah.edu

(C) Nature press release.


Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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