Special Enzyme Could Lead to Alzheimer’s Treatment

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Marji_070715_2In a new study published in the online journal Science Advances, researchers suggest a DNA repair mechanism could lead to further treatment and prevention options for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.

DNA damage response is essential for body development as unrepaired damage to the DNA can lead to cell death and the development of neurodegenerative disorders.

Single-strand breaks (SSB) can interfere with DNA repair and increase genomic instability. Based on this data, researchers have discovered that a special enzyme called RNA polymerase II (Pol II) can sense SSBs by traveling along the DNA coil. It will trigger several reactions to start DNA repair.

The experiment had researchers insert SSBs into a model DNA system and observe how the SSBs would affect the movement of Pol II traveling along the coils. The Pol II enzyme stopped traveling when it encountered breaks in the DNA “connected to the histones and not in histone-free DNA.”

Previously, researchers believed that DNA repair was solely conceivable in histone-free DNA. They have concluded that a new option of DNA reparation can bring new methods in the treatment of diseases.

Source for Today’s Article:
McIntosh, J., “Novel DNA repair mechanism could lead to new Alzheimer’s treatments,” Medical News Today web site, July 6, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/296341.php.