Novel understanding of the DNA repair leads to cancer therapy

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Some researchers at the University of Alberta are hopeful that their current discovery can one day be applied to create novel therapies which aim specific kinds of cancers. This discovery has thrown light on what occurs in the cells when the DNA is injured. The researchers then solved the structure of DNA repair enzyme which is also called the PNKP. This permits them to view what is occurring when this enzyme repairs the DNA.  The findings were then in print in a high impact scientific periodical. If the DNA of the normal cells is damaged, it results in breakdown of chromosomes and finally into cancer.

Whereas damaging DNA in cancerous cells is considered as an effective way to kill them. The main objective of the study is to discover the ways to particularly obstruct the PNKP from doing the repair function in cancerous cells as a potential novel cancer therapy. The researchers worked over this for the last 10 years. They finally revealed that PNKP enzyme plays a significant role in the repair of damaged DNA ends which are produced through radiation and other agents. But till now, no one has been able to ascertain as to how they find and repair the injury.

It was also reported that the same enzyme also helps in protecting the cancer cells. Researchers said that they find many lump of masses tend to become resistant before these therapies like chemotherapy and radiation. The holy grail of the cancer therapy is to discover the drugs that can be given to individuals which shall sensitize their cancer to these therapies.  The other method to sensitize the cancer is to repair the damaged DNA. This will also condense the side effects. The laboratory has already begun testing various compounds which can act as inhibitors of PNKP in cancers and they have seen some positive results till now.



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