Research from the laboratory of Dr. Edgar Hartsuiker at the Bangor North West Cancer Research Institute, School of Medical Sciences, has been published in the latest issue (29 May) of the high-ranking journal Science Advances.
Many cancer drugs kill cancer cells by inhibiting the replication of their genetic material, the DNA. One of these drugs is Gemcitabine, used to treat, among others, pancreatic, bladder and lung cancer. Gemcitabine mimics one of the building blocks of DNA, the nucleoside deoxycytidine, and competes with it for integration into cancer cell DNA. Once integrated, it inhibits DNA replication and thus division of the cancer cell.
The Hartsuiker lab has discovered that a protein called Mre11 is able to remove Gemcitabine from the DNA, allowing replication to continue, thus uncovering a novel Gemcitabine resistance mechanism.
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