When cells are exposed to stress, different repair and detoxification mechanisms are triggered to protect the cells from being damaged. Stress is caused either by environmental factors or the the body’s reaction to inflammation, and can lead to cancer or cardiovascular diseases. A study led by Prof. M.O. Hottiger in collaboration with the Baubec group and published on February 4, 2016 in Molecular Cell now describes a new technique that allows studying a fundamental response to stress in much more detail than previously possible: the ADP-ribosylation of chromatin.
The new technique will allow more closely investigating where and how ADP-ribosylation of the chromatin regulates its structure and chromatin-associated processes such as DNA replication, DNA repair or transcription. This will help identifying the molecular signaling pathways that play a central role in cellular stress response and potentially to the development of novel therapeutic strategies against cancer and other inflammation-associated diseases.