Solving a longstanding mystery in cell division

March 25, 2014 at 3:39 pm Leave a comment

The paradox of a cell that shuts down its DNA repair processes during cell division has been solved, according to research published in Science on March 20, 2014. The problem had eluded science for six decades.

“We now know why a crucial DNA-repair process shuts down just when the cell starts to divide into two daughter cells,” says Dr. Daniel Durocher, a Senior Investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada.

Throughout most of a cell’s life, corrective mechanisms are nearly always acting to repair DNA strand breaks quickly and accurately. “DNA repair helps thwart cancer and keep the cell in top shape – it is usually all in a day’s work within each cell,” Dr. Durocher adds.

Paradoxically, the exception is at the very moment when chromosomes are most vulnerable, when they physically separate into two cells at cell division (mitosis).

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Entry filed under: Biotechnology News and Info from Canadian Universities. Tags: , .

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