New Research Finds Link Between Neurological Disorders and Damage in our so called “Junk DNA”.

 posted by | 30/09/2022

New research from the University of Sheffield’s Neuroscience Institute, Healthy Lifespan Institute and University of Lincoln’s Department of Life Sciences provides important new insights into so-called junk DNA (non-coding parts of our genome) and how it impacts on neurological disorders such as Motor Neuron Disease (MND) and Alzheimer’s.

The researchers identified the pathway of how oxidative breaks are formed and repaired in such DNA. Repairing these breaks in junk DNA is essential for producing proteins that protect us from disease.

Lead author Dr Swagat Ray, Senior Lecturer in Cell Biology at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences said, “This is the culmination of half a decade of rigorous research by an exceptionally talented team and led by Professor Sherif El-Khamisy at Sheffield. Oxidative stress is an unavoidable consequence of cellular metabolism and can be influenced by factors such as diet, lifestyle and environment.

“In the long term, oxidative stress can cause irreparable damage to the body’s cells, proteins and DNA, accelerating the aging process and contributing to the development of neurological diseases such as dementia. We hope the study will pave way for further research into finding new targets and therapeutic strategies to either delay or even cure many neurological disorders”.

The groundbreaking study is published on 28th September 2022 in the multidisciplinary journal, Nature:
“A mechanism for oxidative damage repair at gene regulatory elements”

Story submitted by Swagat Ray