07 October 2015

DNA Repair Award: details

Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded for DNA repair

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be awarded to Swede Thomas Lindahl, American Paul Modrich and Turk Aziz Sanjar. A message about this appeared on the award's website.

The scientists who shared the prize independently described and explained the mechanisms by which cells "repair" their DNA and, thus, protect genetic information from damage.

In the 1960s, the scientific community was confident that DNA molecules are extremely strong and practically do not change throughout the life of organisms. Biochemist Thomas Lindahl (born in 1938), working at the Karolinska Institute, showed that defects are constantly accumulating in the work of DNA – therefore, there must be natural mechanisms for "fixing" molecules. In 1974, Lindahl found an enzyme that removes damaged pieces of cytosine from DNA (this nucleic base easily loses the amino group, and instead of guanine begins to stick together with adenine). In the 1980s and 90s, Lindall, who had moved to the UK by that time, described the work of glycosylases (a group of enzymes working at the first stage of DNA repair) and was able to reproduce this process (excision repair) in the laboratory.

Aziz Sanjar was born in 1946 in southeastern Turkey (on the border with Syria). After receiving his medical degree in Istanbul, he worked as a rural doctor for several years, but in 1973 he became interested in biochemistry. He was struck by the fact that bacteria, having received a deadly dose of ultraviolet radiation, quickly recover their strength after irradiation with blue light in the visible range. Already in the USA, in the Texas laboratory, Sanjar identified and successfully cloned the gene of the enzyme responsible for eliminating damage from ultraviolet light (photoliase). In the 1970s, this discovery did not arouse interest in American universities, and Sanjar had to go as a laboratory assistant to the Yale medical laboratory.

It was there that the scientist described the second system of cellular repair after ultraviolet irradiation. Unlike photolyase, it functions in the dark. In the late 1980s, Sanjar got a permanent position at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and studied the common and different in how the DNA of bacteria and humans is repaired. On the popular Turkish forum Eksi Sozluk (similar to Reddit) The Nobel Prize for Sanjar was predicted back in 2005.

Paul Modrich (born in 1946 in New Mexico, USA) has found a way by which cells correct errors in DNA during division. This system for detecting and repairing insertions, omissions and erroneous pairings of nucleotides that occur during DNA replication and recombination reduces the probability of errors by about a thousand times – from ten to minus eighth to ten to minus ninth degrees. Modric now teaches biochemistry at Duke University and is a research associate at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

In 2014, the Chemistry Prize was awarded to Stefan W. Hell, Eric Betzig and William E. Moerner for new methods of ultra-precise microscopy that exceed the capabilities of a light microscope. Their research makes it possible to visualize the pathways of individual molecules inside living cells.

By tradition, an official award ceremony will be held in Stockholm on December 10, the day of Alfred Nobel's death. The prize will be presented to the laureates by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. The amount of monetary remuneration this year will be about 950 thousand dollars (for all winners of the physics prize). The reduction in the amount of the premium (which is usually at least one million dollars) is due to fluctuations in the exchange rate of the Swedish krona. The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It also selects laureates from candidates proposed by specialized committees.

The only Soviet or Russian winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry is Nikolai Semenov. He received the award in 1956 together with the Englishman Cyril Hinshelwood (Cyril Hinshelwood) for research on the mechanisms of chemical transformations. Semenov's main contribution was that he developed the theory of chain reactions. The Institute of Chemical Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences is named after him.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru
Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version