The understanding of how healthy cells cope with damages caused by anti-cancer drugs is furthered by new findings online in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.
Transcription is the process whereby genetic information is transferred from DNA to RNA, in most cases leading to production of a particular protein. DNA damage, such as that caused by some anticancer drugs, can lead to errors in the RNA produced during transcription, resulting in incorrect protein production that may be harmful to the cell.
Patrick Cramer and colleagues have investigated how transcription machinery avoids DNA lesions caused by cisplatin, a widely used chemotherapy drug. They found that the cisplatin lesion forces the transcription machinery to stop before it reaches the lesion. This transcriptional "stalling" triggers a DNA-repair pathway that can remove the toxic lesion.
Patrick Cramer (Gene Center Munich, Munich, Germany)
Abstract available online.(C) Nature Structural & Molecular Biology press release.
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