Unlocking the Health Secrets of DNA Repair
DNA damage, genome integrity and disease risk
DNA repair is fundamental to life. Failing to launch DNA repair in the right place at the right time compromises genome stability, which in turn can lead to a wide range of devastating human diseases, including cancers and developmental disorders. Emerging evidence also implicate DNA repair as a key process that underlies learning and memory, highlighting the diverse roles of DNA metabolism in brain and cognitive sciences.
As such, research in DNA repair mechanisms advances our understanding of the molecular bases of genome instability-associated human syndromes. Indeed, not only does DNA repair research aid in disease risk assessment, it also provides invaluable insight in rational drug design and discovery, as exemplified by the recent development of PARP inhibitors as promising therapeutics for the treatment of BRCA-related breast and ovarian cancers.
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Dong C, An L, Yu CH, Huen MSY. A DYRK1B-dependent pathway suppresses rDNA transcription in response to DNA damage. Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Feb 22;49(3):1485-1496. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkaa1290. PMID: 33469661; PMCID: PMC7897492.
An L, Jiang Y, Ng HH, Man EP, Chen J, Khoo US, Gong Q, Huen MS. Dual-utility NLS drives RNF169-dependent DNA damage responses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Apr 4;114(14):E2872-E2881. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1616602114. Epub 2017 Mar 21. PMID: 28325877; PMCID: PMC5389323.
Huen MS, Grant R, Manke I, Minn K, Yu X, Yaffe MB, Chen J. RNF8 transduces the DNA-damage signal via histone ubiquitylation and checkpoint protein assembly. Cell. 2007 Nov 30;131(5):901-14. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2007.09.041. Epub 2007 Nov 20. PMID: 18001825; PMCID: PMC2149842.
Defining DNA damage detection and repair processes by identifying key players and events that drive genome integrity protection.
– Michael Huen
Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences
LKS Faculty of Medicine
The University of Hong Kong