HOUSTON - In a finding akin to discovering pages missing from an antique car repair manual, researchers from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have linked for the first time two biological processes crucial to cell survival.
The finding, reported in the Dec. 17, 2004, issue of the journal Cell, provides the first link between a cell's DNA repair machinery and its DNA storage and retrieval machinery. The two processes have been studied independently, and each is essential for proper care and maintenance of the cell's genetic material, but until now there was little evidence of how the two might work together.
"We have brought together two fields that are essential for proper maintenance of DNA," said Xuetong "Snow" Shen, assistant professor in the Department of Carcinogenesis at M. D. Anderson. "It was generally understood there must be a connection between the two, but no direct connection had ever been seen. We have bridged that gap."