Centre de recherche de l'Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont
Domaine : Cancer
DNA damage can cause the inactivation or misregulation of important genes, and lead to diseases such as cancer. DNA repair mechanisms allow cells to survive to these lesions. On the other hand, these repair processes can also compromise the efficacy of chemotherapy treatments which kill cancer cells by inducing lethal amounts of DNA damage. Investigating the cellular response to DNA damage is thus crucial towards a better understanding of cancer, and for the development of novel therapeutic strategies. In order to fit into the tiny confines of the cell, DNA is packaged into a structure called chromatin. Importantly, we have observed that defects in chromatin structure and organisation renders cells very sensitive to DNA damage. We are using yeast as a model system and approaches such as microscopy, biochemistry and genetics to understand how chromatin architecture influences the cellular response to drugs that cause DNA damage and that are similar to those used in cancer chemotherapy. We anticipate that a better understanding of these processes could lead to novel cancer treatments and to the identification of new molecular markers for cancer prognosis.