Photolyases are enzymes that repair the damage caused by ultraviolet radiation (UV) in the DNA. This type of damage, if not repaired, can cause mutations that may cause skin cancer. A team of researchers of the Faculty of Sciences at the Clemente Estado Institute in Argentina produced preparation of these enzymes from cyanobacterium Anacystis nidulans.
The research, which is part of the doctoral thesis of Juan José Marizcurrena, aimed to produce a Photolyase of high efficiency and at a low cost.
“From a collection of UV irradiation resistant Antarctic bacteria, we conducted a search of the genes encoding the enzyme photolyase, and we produced two enzymes by recombinant DNA technology,” said Dr. Susan Castro, professor at the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Section of the Faculty of Sciences.
“Currently we are producing photolyases at a very low cost, we purify them with a very simple process, and finally we obtain an enzyme with great damage repair activity,” Castro added.
The Minister of National Defense, Jorge Menendez, said the discovery of the Antarctic bacterial Photolyase will be patented and the terms for its use will be established, as it has very significant potential for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic markets.
The Ministry of Defense provides logistical support to scientific institutes in Uruguay to conduct studies in Antarctica. At present, 15 further research projects are being supported with 40 dependent scientists from the Faculty of Sciences and the Regional University Center of the East (CURE) of the University of the Republic, among other bodies.
Source: Agencia ID