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Your Environment. Your Health.

Assay Quantifies Effects of DNA Damage on Transcription

Yinsheng Wang, Ph.D., Laura J. Niedernhofer, M.D., Ph.D.
University of California-Riverside, University of Pittsburgh
NIEHS grants R01ES019873, R01ES016114


A new assay, developed by NIEHS grantees, could help explain how DNA damage from environmental chemicals leads to development of cancer and other diseases. The competitive transcription and adduct bypass (CTAB) assay quantifies how DNA damage effects the rate and fidelity of transcription, the process that converts DNA’s genetic information into proteins. Using this information, investigators can assess how DNA damage hinders protein synthesis, leading to mutant proteins.


The researchers demonstrated the assay by showing how oxidative-induced DNA damage affected transcription in vitro and in mammalian cells. They say that the CTAB assay should be applicable for studying other types of DNA damage. It can also be used to examine proteins involved in DNA repair.


Citation: You C, Dai X, Yuan B, Wang J, Wang J, Brooks PJ, Niedernhofer LJ, Wang Y. 2012. A quantitative assay for assessing the effects of DNA lesions on transcription. Nat Chem Biol; doi:10.1038/nchembio.1046. [Online 19 August 2012].

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