DNA Mismatch Repair Happens Only During A Brief Window of Opportunity

December 22, 2011

In eukaryotes – the group of organisms that include humans – a key to survival is the ability of certain proteins to quickly and accurately repair genetic errors that occur when DNA is replicated to make new cells.

In a paper published in the December 23, 2011 issue of the journal Science, researchers at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have solved part of the mystery of how these proteins do their job, a process called DNA mismatch repair (MMR).

Using Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or baker’s yeast, as their model organism, the researchers, led by Richard D. Kolodner, PhD, Ludwig Institute investigator and UCSD professor of medicine and cellular and molecular medicine, discovered that newly replicated DNA produces a temporary signal for 10 to 15 minutes after replication which helps identify it as new – and thus a potential subject for MMR.

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