Lesser-known DNA Repair Process May Be Therapeutic Target in Certain Breast Cancers, Study Says

Lesser-known DNA Repair Process May Be Therapeutic Target in Certain Breast Cancers, Study Says
Some breast cancers with mutations in DNA damage repair genes may rely on a DNA repair enzyme called polymerase theta for survival, a new study shows, suggesting that blocking this enzyme or its associated pathways could be a therapeutic strategy to treat these breast cancers. The study, "Genetic determinants of cellular addiction to DNA polymerase theta," was published in Nature Communications. Sometimes, the DNA in cells becomes damaged, whether because of toxins or the normal wear and tear of replication. Cells have numerous molecular mechanisms to deal with this, broadly termed the DNA damage response (DDR). Many cancer cells have deficits in some of these processes. For example, the BRCA genes are involved in DNA repair, which is why cells that lack functional BRCA genes are more likely to develop mutations and, therefore, become cancerous. A lesser known part of the DDR is theta mediated end joining (TMEJ), a process named for th
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