Rad51 protein plays a key role in DNA protection

October 03, 2015

"To overcome this challenge we came up with a completely new technique, which involved removing the Rad51 from a concoction made of frog spawn to see what problems occurred in the DNA.

"This exciting development allowed us to generate some of the first images showing the DNA damage that occurs when Rad51 isn't there to protect the DNA.

"Before now, such images had only been possible in yeast, which are much further from humans than frogs on the evolutionary scale, so this is an important step forward in understanding how BRCA2 faults lead to cancer."

Dr Helen George, Cancer Research UK's head of cancer information, said: "This work shows how important the protective role of the Rad51 protein is in the DNA copying process, as well as in DNA repair. Some new cancer drugs exploit the Rad51 repair process. So as well as improving our understanding of cancer, this work could also inform new approaches to treatment."

Source: Cancer Research UK