Dr. Yuan Liu, associate professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and core BSI member, has recently published an article in the journal Nature along with other collaborators. Her paper "Crosstalk between MSH2–MSH3 and polβ promotes trinucleotide repeat expansion during base excision repair," appeared in the August 22, 2016 issue of Nature Communications.
In this study, Dr. Liu and her research team have made the first discovery that a cross-talk between DNA base excision repair and mismatch repair pathways promotes trinucleotide repeat expansion, the cause of more than 40 neurodegenerative diseases including Huntington’s disease. She has found that DNA polymerase beta, a central component of DNA base excision repair, interacts with mismatch repair proteins, MSH2-MSH3 physically and this allows the polymerase to add more trinucleotide repeats leading to repeat expansion. This further demonstrates that mismatch repair protein, MSH2-MSH3 serves as a cofactor of DNA polymerase beta to change the outcome of trinucleotide repeat instability from repeat deletion to expansion. She proposes that that cells implement crosstalk strategies and share machinery when a canonical pathway is ineffective in removing a difficult lesion.
Congratulations Dr. Liu!
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