Studying chromosomal rearrangements in yeast reveals potential avenue for cancer therapy

Studying chromosomal rearrangements in yeast reveals potential avenue for cancer therapy

Studying chromosomal rearrangements in yeast reveals potential avenue for cancer therapy Researchers from Osaka University have found that the attachment of a ubiquitin molecule to a protein called PCNA at the lysine 107 position causes gross chromosomal rearrangements. This lysine is located where two PCNA molecules interact, and the ubiquitin attachment to it may change the ring structure they form. The ubiquitin attachment occurs through the action of Rad8 (a ubiquitin ligase) and Mms2-Ubc4 (a ubiquitin conjugating enzyme). This implies that inhibiting the human equivalent of this ubiquitination could prevent cancer. Gross chromosomal rearrangements—where portions of the genome become moved, deleted, or inverted—can lead to cell death and diseases such as cancer in complex multicellular organisms. However, the details of how exactly these occur remain unknown. Now, studies in a single-celled organism called fission yeast have found evidence for the involvement of a protein called Rad8. When DNA replicates or repairs itself, three copies of a protein called PCNA bind together and form a ring-like structure surrounding the DNA strand. This ring structure acts like a clamp and slides along …
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