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Ideker Group Discovers How Cells Survive Toxic Mutagenic Assaults

Professor Trey Ideker
Professor Trey Ideker

Cells must continually repair damage to their DNA inflicted by a variety of assaults. Hoping to gain a better understanding of that natural repair process, a group of researchers led by bioengineering professor Trey Ideker exposed cells to a powerful chemical mutagen and discovered a web of inter-related responses that cells use to avoid becoming diseased or cancerous.

Reporting in the May 19 issue of Science, Ideker’s team described a model of DNA repair that also helps modulate genes involved in cell growth and division, protein degradation, responses to stress, and other metabolic functions.The results may demystify the longstanding question of why DNA damage influences the expression of hundreds of genes that are not actually involved in the repair process.

“With this model now in hand, we’d like to take a much closer look at the cell’s response to environmental toxins,” said Ideker.“We’d also like to understand what goes wrong in certain congenital diseases involving DNA repair, and how the model plays a role in various cancers.”

Ideker Group Discovers How Cells Survive Toxic Mutagenic Assaults