From bacterial radiation resistance to anti-cancer drug resistance - An integrated structural and cell biology study of DNA Repair
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The prime objective of every life form is to deliver its genetic material, intact and unchanged, to the next generation, despite constant assaults from both endogenous and exogenous sources, such as UV light, ionizing radiation or genotoxic anticancer agents. DNA damage blocks genome replication and transcription, and if left unrepaired, DNA lesions can lead to mutations or wider-scale genome aberrations that threaten cell or organism viability. To counter this threat, cells have evolved several elaborate DNA damage response systems.
My team aims to better understand the fundamental mechanisms involved in the coordinated response of cells to DNA damage and to determine how such processes can contribute on the one hand to the outstanding radiation resistance of the bacterium, Deinococcus radiodurans, and on the other hand to drug resistance in cancer cells. To achieve these objectives, we use a highly integrated multi-disciplinary approach combining molecular biology, biochemistry, structural biology and advanced live cell imaging. In this seminar, I will give you an overview of our recent results.