Many types of DNA breaks happen in the cell, some of which can lead to diseases like cancer if not properly repaired. A work led by the University of Seville, has focused on the chromosomal breaks occurring during expression of certain genes to analyze the molecular mechanism of this process.
Researchers at the University of Seville, in collaboration with the Genome Damage and Stability Center at the University of Sussex in the UK, have published a study in the journal Nature Communications where they describe the exact mechanisms that produce, when not properly repaired, that certain DNA breaks mix with other, generating chromosomal translocations.
“They are breaks generated by enzymes called DNA topoisomerases. Perhaps most important is that they occur during the expression of some genes, those that then translocate,” explains lead author of the study Fernando Gómez Herreros, researcher at the University of Seville.
The team of scientists describe in this paper how a specific mechanism repair these breaks and prevents some aberrant chromosomal structures called translocations, which consist of complete chromosome fragments that change from one place to another in the genome.
“These are the source of some solid tumors and leukemias, including acute secondary myeloid leukemia; therefore, we suggest that this mechanism we described in this paper may be involved in preventing the formation of some types of cancer,” adds Gomez Herreros.