DNA-Bending Protein Studied

DNA forms a blueprint of life. But mismatch just one of these complementary pairs, and the genetic code gets altered. While certain proteins can diffuse along DNA strands to search for damaged sites, how they find them remain unanswered questions.

Physics Professor Anjum Ansari hopes to find some answers, supported by a new five-year, $1.14 million NSF grant. Ansari will be studying two classes of DNA-bending proteins. One is a damage recognition protein and the other is an enzyme that targets invader DNA, cutting it apart. Ansari is collaborating with other researchers at UIC, University of Pittsburgh, Wesleyan University and Arizona State University.