Danish researchers at the University of Copenhagen have discovered how to map more than one protein at a time, when proteins repair damaged DNA. The discovery could help accelerate the process of developing better and gentler cancer treatments.
The research is described in an article in the scientific journal, Science.
When DNA is damaged, several different proteins start pouring in to repair the break; their types depend on the damage done. Up until now, it has been common practice to study one protein at a time, but by way of mass spectrometry, researchers are now able to simultaneously see all the proteins that help repair damaged DNA, according to World Pharma News.
This method, which can be utilized by researchers worldwide, has been developed by the German Max-Planck Institute in Munich, headed by Professor Matthias Mann, who is also affiliated with the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, in the capacity of Research Director at CPR Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology in close collaboration with Niels Mailand’s team at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Protein Research (CPR), World Pharma News notes.
The new technique could vastly improve cancer treatment, since most of the methods, including chemotherapy, are aimed at producing massive DNA damage to kill the cancerous cells. An unwanted side effect is that healthy cells are also damaged. This approach would enable researchers to learn how and which proteins help repair the DNA.
“We get a much clearer and more general picture of the reparatory process, i.e. where previously, we were only able to see one piece of the puzzle at a time, we are now able to see the entire puzzle. And this makes it a lot easier to see what is going on, and then work from there. The better we understand these processes, the better and gentler cancer treatments we can develop,” says Niels Mailand.
Source: World Pharma News