Institute of Innovative Research, 
Tokyo Institute of Technology.


Press Release

Sharing Shears: Conserved Protein Segment Activates Molecular DNA Scissors for DNA repair

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have uncovered mechanisms underlying the activation of the MRN complex— the cell’s DNA scissors. Using purified yeast proteins, they demonstrated that phosphorylation of Ctp1, a homolog of a tumor-suppressor protein, plays a key role in activating MRN complex’s DNA clipping activity. Intriguingly, a short segment of yeast Ctp1 or its human counterpart could stimulate endonuclease activity of their respective MRN complexes, suggesting its conserved function across species.