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Study Turns Central Dogma on Its Head

A new study headed by scientists at the Thomas Jefferson University shows polymerase theta is more efficient and accurate when using an RNA template to write new DNA messages than when duplicating DNA, suggesting this is its primary function in cells. The finding that turns the central dogma on its head, raises questions on how cellular RNA contributes to DNA repair and indicates polymerase theta is a promising cancer drug target.

New End-Trimming Activity Revealed in Key Enzyme for Cancer Growth

A new study reveals that in addition to extending DNA, DNA polymerase theta is also responsible for chopping off unpaired DNA in the 3’ direction. This enzyme repairs double-strand breaks through a pathway called theta-mediated end joining, essential for cell survival. This finding may lead to new treatment approaches for hard-to-treat cancers.