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DNA Protection Protein, a Novel Mechanism of Radiation Tolerance: Lessons from Tardigrades

1
Laboratory for Radiation Biology, School of Medicine, Tohoku University, 2-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8575, Japan
2
Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David Deamer
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 8 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extremophiles and the Origin of Life)
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Abstract

Genomic DNA stores all genetic information and is indispensable for maintenance of normal cellular activity and propagation. Radiation causes severe DNA lesions, including double-strand breaks, and leads to genome instability and even lethality. Regardless of the toxicity of radiation, some organisms exhibit extraordinary tolerance against radiation. These organisms are supposed to possess special mechanisms to mitigate radiation-induced DNA damages. Extensive study using radiotolerant bacteria suggested that effective protection of proteins and enhanced DNA repair system play important roles in tolerability against high-dose radiation. Recent studies using an extremotolerant animal, the tardigrade, provides new evidence that a tardigrade-unique DNA-associating protein, termed Dsup, suppresses the occurrence of DNA breaks by radiation in human-cultured cells. In this review, we provide a brief summary of the current knowledge on extremely radiotolerant animals, and present novel insights from the tardigrade research, which expand our understanding on molecular mechanism of exceptional radio-tolerability. View Full-Text
Keywords: tardigrade; extremophiles; radiotolerance; damage suppressor (Dsup); reactive oxygen species (ROS) tardigrade; extremophiles; radiotolerance; damage suppressor (Dsup); reactive oxygen species (ROS)
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Hashimoto, T.; Kunieda, T. DNA Protection Protein, a Novel Mechanism of Radiation Tolerance: Lessons from Tardigrades. Life 2017, 7, 26.

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