Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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It's a Wrap

Proteins faulty in Fanconi anaemia normally act to protect damaged DNA

19 June 2020

It's a Wrap

Every day your DNA is under attack. Spotting this damage and repairing it as quickly as possible is vital in order to keep us healthy and avoid harmful genetic alterations (mutations). People with the rare inherited condition Fanconi anaemia have problems repairing certain types of DNA damage in their bone marrow – the spongy tissue that produces new blood cells. This leads to growth problems and an inability to produce new blood cells, and often causes a type of blood cancer called acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Researchers have discovered that two proteins that are often missing or faulty in Fanconi anaemia, FANCD2 and FANCI, tightly wrap around damaged DNA, forming stable filaments (red strands) that help to protect it from further harm and trigger DNA repair processes. Understanding more about the molecular details of this process could point to new treatments for people with Fanconi anaemia or other types of cancer.

Written by Kat Arney

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