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A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad has unravelled the functioning of a protein that repairs a damaged DNA in humans and helps prevent diseases like cancer. Nature has evolved techniques to not only protect DNA, but also to repair a damaged one so that catastrophic damage can be averted, a press release from the institute said on Thursday
In humans, one such repair mechanism involves activation of a special class of proteins called 'DNA repair proteins,' it said. The research team is headed by Anindya Roy, Associate Professor, Department of Biotechnology, IIT Hyderabad.
The research was funded by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology, it said. The results of the study has been published recently in the reputed peer-reviewed journal Nucleic Acid Research.
The published paper has been co-authored by Anindya Roy, Arun Goyal and research scholars, Monisha Mohan, Deepa Akula and Arun Dhillon. Any damage to the DNA can result in outcomes that can range from unperceivably mild changes, such as the sudden appearance of a harmless mole, to diseases such as cancer. The retention of DNA integrity is therefore essential for proper function and survival of all organisms.
Protection of DNA is daunting because of the possibility of damage by external sources and the intrinsic instability of DNA itself, the release explained.