Will it be possible to repair DNA using a protein in the near future? (Image: ipopba / Stock.Adobe.com)
Can DNA be repaired using protein?
Now a new protein has been identified which actually allows DNA repair. In addition to repairing DNA, the special protein is also able to perform various other functions within cells.
A special protein appears to help repair DNA, according to a joint study by the University of Seville, the University of Murcia and the University of Marburg. The study was published in the famous English-language journal “Current Biology”.
This is how the body protects itself against DNA damage
Ultraviolet rays can damage DNA and lead to mutations that disrupt cell function and allow cancer cells to grow out of control. Human cells have built up DNA repair systems to defend themselves against this type of damage. One of these systems is photolysis. This is based on a special protein that uses blue light to repair DNA damage before it can cause mutations, the researchers explain in a press release.
Evolution has produced cryptochromes
During evolution, genes for photolysis doubled and specialized, creating new proteins called cryptochromes. These have refined their ability to perceive blue light and are able to perform other functions in cells.
What functions do cryptochromes perform?
For example, cryptochromes use blue light as a signal to regulate plant growth and the rhythm that controls daily activity (the circadian rhythm) in fungi and animals, the researchers explain.
Cryptochromes triggered DNA repair
During the investigation, the research group discovered that in the fungus Mucor circinelloides, a human pathogen, cryptochromes are the protein responsible for DNA repair after exposure to ultraviolet rays. This function must in fact be carried out by photolysis.
Proteins and their functions change
The cryptochromes of this fungus appear to have obtained their ability to repair DNA during evolution from a cryptochrome that was actually unable to repair DNA, experts suspect. This discovery illustrates how proteins change as their functions evolve. (as)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of specialized medical literature, medical directives and ongoing studies and has been verified by healthcare professionals.
Eusebio Navarro, Nils Niemann, Dennis Kock, Tamila Dadaeva, Gabriel Gutiérrez et al .: The DASH-type Cryptochrome from the Fungus Mucor circinelloides Is a Canonical CPD-Photolyase, in Current Biology (published on 09.17.2020), Current BiologyUniversity of Seville : New protein discovered that repairs DNA (published 10/14/2020), University of Seville
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.