Your DNA Repair Service

It has been estimated that some ten times a day your DNA strands breakdown! There is an emergency unless it’s fixed diseases like cancer occurs, call 911? No! Call the FBI? Call the Coast Guard? No! Who do you call then? Need not worry about who to call, your body contains an emergency response team consisting of a octopus-shaped protein complex that rushes to the rescue, then wraps around the damaged site, and brings in all the parts needed to fix it.  Such mechanical and well-designed acrobatics in the cell are only now coming into clearer focus.

Science Daily reports…

“Over the last years, two teams of researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have steadily built a model of how a powerful DNA repair complex works. Now, their latest discovery provides revolutionary insights into the way the molecular motor inside the complex functions — findings they say may have implications for treatment of disorders ranging from cancer to cystic fibrosis.”

First, this amazing design has to assess the damage first:

“When MRN senses a break, it activates an alarm telling the cell to shut down division until repairs are made.  Then, it binds to ATP (an energy source) and repairs DNA in three different ways, depending on whether two ends of strands need to be joined together or if DNA sequences need to be replicated.  “The same complex has to decide the extent of damage and be able to do multiple things,” [John] Tainer [Scripps Research Professor] said.  “The mystery was how it can do it all.”

It uses uses ATP, the energy source for all life, to get into shape: “When not bound to ATP, Rad50 is flexible and floppy, but bound to ATP, Rad50 snaps into a ring that presumably closes around DNA in order to repair it.”

It brings up an interesting question about this amazing research! How does a set of proteins sense damage, then migrate to a repair site, assess the extent of the damage and select the correct repair option to fix it, link up to other tools, bring in parts, and put everything back together again is surely one of the wonders of biology coming to light with new observing techniques. This is shouting “intelligent design” by God!

Not much said about evolution in the paper other than mentioning that the parts are “conserved” (unevolved) across all living things. To speculate how would evolved would have been a waste, nobody would have learned anything from it rather focus on what was discovered which is simply astounding to say the least!