Unveiling the mechanism protecting replicated DNA from degradation
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IMAGE: EM images show sections of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) being produced instead of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) in the absence of AND-1. view more 

Credit: Takuya Abe

Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University and the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (IFOM) in Italy have succeeded in depleting AND-1, a key protein for DNA replication, by using a recently developed conditional protein degradation system. Consequently, they were able to gain unprecedented access to the mechanism behind how AND-1 works during DNA replication and cell proliferation in vertebrate cells, demonstrating that AND-1 has two different functions during DNA replication mediated by different domains of AND-1.

DNA is often referred to as the “blueprint of life”; in order for living organisms to function, it is vital that all cells share the same blueprint. This is made possible by the process of DNA replication, where the DNA is accurately copied and distributed before the cell multiplies. Replication underpins all biological inheritance, and is supported by a whole range of biochemical pathways designed to ensure that it occurs without error and at the right speed. Failure to do so may have catastrophic consequences, including cancer: understanding the specific mechanisms behind this highly complex procedure is of

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