Article Source: University of Seville

Abstract: A group of researchers have now gained a better understanding of the physiological mechanisms that prevent genetic instability. According to them, these findings could play a significant role in the research against cancer.

Complete Article:

A team of researchers from the University of Seville have now uncovered the function of protein Rrm3 in the repair of breaks that occur during the replication of DNA, by using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism. The protein Rm3 protein belongs to the human protein family PIF1 and the mutations in it is known to be linked with a higher risk of tumorigenesis. The research opens a possibility that the risk of suffering cancer might be due to the inability of the cell to repair correctly breaks in DNA that happens during replication.

The research opens a possibility that the risk of suffering cancer might be due to the inability of the cell to repair correctly breaks in DNA that happen during replication.

The outcomes of the research have been brought together in the article titled ‘A new role for Rrm3 in the repair of replication-born DNA breakage by sister chromatid recombination’ and has been published by the review PLoS Genet in its May 2017 edition.

During replication, the two strands of DNA unwind which makes the DNA fragile and vulnerable. During this step, the replication forks can meet obstacles that cause their blockage or even the appearance of breaks in the DNA.

These breaks in DNA that occur during the replication process require a specific mechanism for their repair known as the recombination mechanism.

In this research study, the Rrm3 protein was shown to travel beside the replication forks and assist in the process of repair by recombination, thus avoiding genetic instability.

Acquiring the proper understanding of the physiological mechanisms that cause or prevent genetic instability is a fundamental question in Molecular Biology and Biomedicine and is of utmost importance for the research against cancer, given that genetic instability is a distinctive feature of tumorous cells. Moreover, genetic instability also appears to be linked with cancer from its beginning stages of development and can be involved both as a cause of cancer (tumorigenesis) and in the generation of genetic variation within a tumour itself (intratumoral heterogeneity).

Journal Reference:

Sandra Muñoz-Galván, María García-Rubio, Pedro Ortega, Jose F. Ruiz, Sonia Jimeno, Benjamin Pardo, Belén Gómez-González, Andrés Aguilera. A new role for Rrm3 in repair of replication-born DNA breakage by sister chromatid recombinationPLOS Genetics, 2017; 13 (5): e1006781 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006781