Bacteria can hunt and repair precancerous mutations

10 November 2015

Researchers at the University of Michigan have discovered that MutS, a protein found inside certain bacteria are able to actively seek out and repair genetic mutations that are associated with some types of cancer.

For people with defective versions of the protein, the mutation rate increases tenfold, putting the individual at greater risk of not only cancer, but family cancer syndrome and a genetic disorder known as Lynch syndrome, which also puts sufferers at a greater risk of colon and stomach cancers.

Researcher Lyle Simmons said:"We're adding to the foundation of understanding of how cells avoid mutations. In addition, our work is pushing us to develop microscopy techniques that could be later used to understand how MutS functions in human cells."

It appears that MutS is so effective at its job because it does not look for the origin of the mutation, but instead focuses on finding the site of replication, which is where the danger of uncontrolled growth is greatest.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 

Health News is provided by Axonn Media in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Axonn Media and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:

or

Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.

or

Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

Categories

Cancer

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)