Throughout life, DNA is constantly being damaged by environmental and intrinsic factors and must be promptly repaired to prevent mutations, genomic instability, and cancer. Different types of damages are repaired by numerous proteins organized into damage-specific pathways. The proteins from different pathways must be spatially and temporally coordinated in order to efficiently repair complex DNA damages. How this is achieved by the cell, is still poorly understood, due to the complexity and rapid dynamics of the process. This question is particularly important since many anticancer drugs either damage DNA or target DNA repair proteins. A systematic study of the impact of such drugs on the overall coordination of the repair process could deliver new insights into their mechanisms of action, prompt new applications or suggest possible side effects.
An international team of researchers from the Institute of Molecular Biology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IMB-BAS), Sofia University, the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG), the Biotechnology Center at TU Dresden (BIOTEC – Prof. Dr. Stephan Grill) and the Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus (Prof. Dr. Frank Buchholz) built a high resolution, quantitative model of the dynamics of arrival and departure of 70 key DNA repair proteins at sites of complex DNA damage.