UI Laboratory Develops Procedure To Study DNA Replication

March 30, 1999

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa research team has developed a way to isolate replicating deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules that scientists then can use to examine the replication process under controlled conditions. This advance will allow investigators to better understand DNA replication and may lead to improved therapies for treating diseases such as cancer.

"One of the difficulties with studying the DNA replication process is that there are multiple protein complexes involved, and it is difficult to experimentally dissect individual reactions that are occurring," said Marc Wold, Ph.D., UI associate professor of biochemistry and the project's principal investigator. "Our procedure will allow us to examine these reactions in more detail."

DNA is the genetic material that encodes all components in human cells. Each cell contains more than two meters of DNA. Every time a cell divides, it is necessary to duplicate all of its DNA.

Using DNA derived from the Simian Virus 40 from monkeys, Wold and members of his laboratory let DNA replication start in an extract from human cells. The researchers attach magnetic beads to the DNA molecules and use a magnet to isolate the molecules and associated replication proteins. The researchers can then manipulate the extracted DNA and add specific replication proteins in a controlled manner to understand the mechanics of DNA replication.

"This will mean we can start asking specific questions about the reactions during replication and learn more about the specific roles of replication proteins," Wold said.

The advantage of this system is that it allows separation of the DNA replication process from the synthetic reactions. This separation has been difficult to achieve in previous replication systems.

Using his technique, Wold hopes that his lab and others can begin to understand what causes some cells to mutate. DNA replication is a complex process that is very accurate and highly regulated. Errors in DNA replication can lead to cell mutations, which contribute to diseases such as cancer, and can cause cell death, Wold said.

"If we can use our system to look at how mutations occur, it gives us the potential to make more effective drugs for treating cancer," Wold said.

Wold's work appeared in a recent issue of the journal of Nucleic Acids Research.
-end-


University of Iowa

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.