Inhibition of “Fork Reversal” Improves Cancer Treatment

Alessandro Vindigni, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Biochemistry, recently published an article entitled “Human RECQ1 promotes restart of replication forks reversed by DNA topoisomerase I inhibition” in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.

The article describes his lab’s recent research results on how cancer cells respond to topoisomerase I (TOP1) inhibitors, a common class of anti-cancer drugs used in chemotherapy. Cancer cells can use a “fork reversal” process to repair nicks left in DNA strands by TOP1 inhibitors, thus reducing their effectiveness. The Vindigni lab found that two cellular proteins, PARP and RECQ1, can control the fork reversal process and increase the effectiveness of TOP1 inhibitors in cancer treatment, perhaps even allowing the use of lower TOP1 inhibitors and inducing fewer side effects.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology