DNA Repair Pathways Prove Important for Cancer Research

Fri, 06/11/2010 - 10:00

The mammalian DNA repair process encompasses a large number of protein pathways, and forms an important part of our antibody catalog. The past 30 years have seen tremendous advances in the understanding of these mechanisms, with Wood, et al. recently compiling an updated inventory of at least 150 human DNA-repair proteins. This added considerably to the scope of the antibody database of us at Novus Biologicals.

Among the major repair pathways for mammalian DNA are: simple damage reversal; recombination repair; base excision repair (BER) and nucleotide excision repair (NER).

Immunohistochemistry-Paraffin: ERCC1 Antibody Immunohistochemistry-Paraffin: ERCC1 Antibody

The last has been of much interest to cancer research groups, since it is the predominant method by which the cell maintains genomic integrity. Disruptions in the repair pathway can allow mutations to proliferate, which would normally be excised and repaired. In addition, elevated levels of NER proteins are seen in chemo-resistant tumor cells (i.e. those resistant to chemotherapy drugs, in particular the ones that work by disrupting the DNA of tumor cells.)

NER pathways are specific to particular types of DNA damage (known collectively as lesions). These range from simple base methylations, to inter-strand adduct formation causing major helical distortions. NER consists of 4 stages: Recognition and demarcation of the damaged DNA; excision and removal of the lesion area; synthesis of a new, replacement section using the undamaged strand as a template, and incorporation of this section into the existing downstream sequence.

The excision repair cross-complementing (ERCC), and xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) families of proteins govern nucleotide excision repair via several protein complexes. Recently, Bhagwat, et al. ran specific antibody studies targeted to human ERCC1-XPF, to clarify the role these proteins play in chemo-resistant tumor cells. Previously, no human antigen-specific antibody data for this gene was available.

Novus Biologicals offers many NER reagents for your research needs including:

Blog Topics