Dr Wojciech Strzałka’s research team from the Department of Plant Technology of the JU Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology published an article entitled "Inhibition of DNA replication by an anti-PCNA aptamer/PCNA complex" in the prestigious journal Nucleic Acid Research.
PCNA (Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen) is a protein that takes part in DNA replication and repair. It is considered a potential aim of anti-cancer therapy. The studies carried out to date have shown that the use of low molecular inhibitors blocking PCNA interaction with selected proteins might effectively block cell division.
The paper published by the JU team concerns PCNA-binding DNA aptamer identified with SELEX technique (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential enrichment). The study showed that the anti-PCNA aptamer inhibited the activity of δ and ε polymerases only if PCNA protein was present. The DNA replication blocking mechanism that is dependent on PCNA and DNA aptamer has been first described in this article.
The publication resulted from cooperation between scientists from the JU Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology with researchers of Kyushu University, Japan. The authors are: Dr Ewa Kowalska, Filip Bartnicki, Paweł Hermanowicz, Klaudia Muszyńska and Dr Wojciech Strzałka from the JU Department of Plant Biotechnology, Dr Piotr Bonarek from the Department of Physical Biochemistry as well as Dr Ryo Fujisawa and Prof. Toshiki Tsurimoto from Kyushu University. The full paper is available here.