Scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Scripps Research Institute say they have solved the essential structure of the XPD protein. XPD is one component of an essential repair mechanism that maintains the integrity of DNA. The research was published in the May 30 issue of Cell.
During this week's GEN podcast, Dr. Jill Fuss, one of paper's authors, discusses why XPD is such an important molecule and why solving its structure is so significant. She explains how XPD carries out its role as a DNA repair protein and how the research team went about finding the XPD gene and then crystallizing it. Dr. Fuss also talks about future plans to build on this research and to advance medicine's ability to deal with cancer and the problems associated with aging.