Researchers identify DNA repair enzyme as a potential brain cancer drug target

Printer Friendly

January 15, 2016

Researchers at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have utilized the Dicer enzyme to help repair DNA damage that occurs in rapidly dividing, cancerous brain cells. Researchers hope that this enzyme will contribute to cancer cell DNA weakening and make current cancer treatments more effective.

Scientists extracted Dicer from pre-clinical models of medulloblastoma, a common brain cancer in children, which left high levels of DNA damage in cancer cells and led to the cells' death. As a result, the tumors shrank and the remaining cancer cells appeared to be more sensitive to chemotherapy.

Professor Mohanish Deshmukh, study lead, notes: “This is the first time that the specific function of Dicer for DNA damage has been looked at in the context of the developing brain or even in brain tumors, despite the fact that the protein has been extensively studied.”

To read the full study, click here