A group of Russian scientists have discovered a new method of DNA repair which may be able to prevent and cure neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s and even stop the process of cell death.
The research team led by Vasily M. Studitsky, professor at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, published their findings in an article “Structure of transcribed chromatin is a sensor of DNA damage” in the Science Advances journal.
“Early detection and repair of damaged DNA is essential for cell functioning and survival,” says the study.
The paper raises the question of single-strand breaks (SSBs) which are called in the research “common DNA damages generated during various processes of cell metabolism.”
“Unrepaired SSBs can interfere with transcription, replication, and DNA repair; induce accumulation of double-stranded DNA breaks; increase genomic instability and apoptosis [process of programmed cell death]; and lead to severe neurodegenerative diseases.” Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and spinal muscular atrophy are examples of such diseases.