Explanation for the role of gene in DNA repair

31st May 2016

It seems that research is slowly uncovering what the role of the gene BRCA1 is in regards to DNA repair, according to research from scientists at the University of Birmingham.

The study explains how the gene encourages the attachment of ubiquitin to other proteins and can be vital when it comes to the repair of DNA.

Further study is needed, but scientists are hazarding so far that patients with certain genetic changes in BRCA1 could be identified as having a higher risk of contracting breast and ovarian cancer.

Dr Jo Morris, lead author from the University of Birmingham, said: "This study may explain why some cancer predisposing mutations are found in the front part of the BRCA1 gene - the part that allows it to function as a ubiquitin ligase."

It seems that through current research, the team have found that BRCA1 manages to perform its ubiquitin attachment role by relying on BARD1 - a partner protein.

Although further work is needed, this discovery is encouraging and Dr Morris commented: "There are more ways to target cancers and therefore to prevent tumours becoming resistant to treatment."

Posted by Edward Bartel



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