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Heal thyself: Systems biology model reveals how cells avoid becoming cancerous

functions. Ideker and others have theorized that when a cell's DNA is damaged, the cell may be programmed to also stop dividing and perform a variety of housekeeping chores while it repairs its DNA. If true, the model may demystify the long-standing question of why DNA damage influences the expression of hundreds of genes not involved in the actual repair process.

"What we quickly realized is that we had uncovered not just a model of DNA repair, but a blueprint of how the initial event of DNA damage is transmitted by these transcription factors to repair processes and all the other important functions of the cell," said Ideker. "With this model now in hand, we'd like to take a much closer look at the cell's response to environmental toxins. We'd like to understand what goes wrong in certain congenital diseases involving DNA repair, and we'd also like to understand how the model plays a role in various cancers."


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Contact: Rex Graham
ragraham@ucsd.edu
858-822-3075
University of California - San Diego
18-May-2006


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