Mechanisms of DNA interstrand crosslink repair in humans

Year of award: 2018


  • Dr Martin Cohn

    University of Oxford

Project summary

Mutations arising in our genome can cause cancer. DNA repair pathways stop this happening. One such pathway is the Fanconi anaemia pathway which needs to function to prevent Fanconi anaemia (FA) from occurring. FA is a disease that causes a high incidence of cancer and some people with the disease do not survive beyond childhood. The reason that patients develop cancer is the non-functional FA pathway being unable to repair a type of DNA damage called DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs).

We aim to learn more about how our cells repair ICLs. We will use several approaches to study  proteins that are involved in this biological process, some of which we have discovered recently. We will uncover how these proteins work together to complete the complex DNA repair process.

Our studies will shed light on the mechanisms behind ICL repair and may be able to be used to develop new cancer therapies.