24 February 2016
Emerging evidence suggests that RNA processing pathways play a surprisingly intimate role in the cellular response to DNA damage. A recently published review by Prof Ashok Venkitaraman and Dr Vihandha Wickramasinghe in Molecular Cell (RNA Processing and Genome Instability: Cause and Consequence) provides an overview of recent insights into how RNA processing pathways contribute to DNA damage recognition, signalling and repair, and also selectively influence the expression of genome-stabilizing proteins and resolve deleterious DNA/RNA hybrids (R-loops) formed during transcription and RNA processing.
The significance of these pathways is highlighted by the growing evidence that faults in these regulatory connections may be associated with the genome instability implicated in many human diseases, including cancer. This knowledge (the mechanisms described in this review) will allow this research field to turn its attention to determine how disrupting these RNA processing pathways could promote carcinogenesis.
Further information on research carried out in the Venkitaraman group can be found here.