Biochemistry Group paper published in PNAS
The Biochemistry Group led by Grigory Dianov has had a paper published in PNAS. The work in collaboration with a Swiss group led by Professor Ulrich Hübscher describes one of the critical ways that cells repair DNA damage. One of the most common types of DNA damage in human cells results from oxidation of guanine giving rise to 8-oxoguanine and DNA polymerase lambda (Pol λ) plays a critical role in bypassing this DNA damage prior to its repair. As with many enzymes, Pol λ is not present in cells in excess but is created and destroyed, the balance of which is altered as and when the protein is required. This contact protein turn-over prevents the enzyme being present in abundance and working when it is not needed, which is important since Pol λ can make mistakes during DNA repair Synthesis, This constant presence of Pol λ could therefore be potentially mutagenic. The collaboration between Oxford and Zurich has revealed how this particular enzyme is regulated in response to oxidative DNA damage.
The paper is at http://pnas.org/content/early/2011/12/19/1110449109