Macromolecular mechanisms of genome duplication and stability


  • Dr Luca Pellegrini

    University of Cambridge

Project summary

Each time a cell divides, it needs to duplicate its DNA in order to transmit a complete set of genetic instructions to each daughter cell. Inside the cell, dedicated collections of protein molecules cooperate in space and time to execute the biochemical process of DNA replication, upon which genetic inheritance depends. Research in Dr Pellegrini's laboratory aims to understand, at the atomic level, how the proteins and enzymes of DNA replication carry out their vital task. Ultimately, the lab's work will provide a detailed description of the molecular mechanisms by which the cell achieves the remarkable feat of genomic duplication. In addition to its biological importance, this knowledge is of great medical relevance as faults in DNA replication are a major predisposing cause of disease. Dr Pellegrini plans to exploit the knowledge of the three-dimensional structures of replication proteins to identify potential inhibitors that could be developed as novel treatments for cancer.