Using their expertise in quantitative proteomics, the group of Professor Angus Lamond in GRE has collaborated with the group of former GRE PI Anne Donaldson, now a PI in Aberdeen, to characterise for the first time the role of human RIF1 protein in controlling DNA replication. Many human diseases can result from incorrect DNA replication, either from under- or over-replication. Uncovering the molecular interactions that tightly control this key process in human cells can thus provide vital knowledge relevant to a range of disease mechanisms. This new study published in EMBO reports demonstrates that the human RIF1 protein plays a dual role in controlling replication. RIF1 forms a complex by interacting with protein phosphatase 1 (PP1), which was shown to cause:

  • Limitation of the phosphorylation-mediated activation of minichromosome maintenance (MCM) factor that counteracts replication origin activation.
  • Stabilization of the origin recognition complex (ORC) 1 protein during the G1 phase of the cell cycle, which is essential for the “origin licensing”, step of DNA replication.

“We are delighted that our expertise in Mass Spectrometry-based proteomics was able to provide key information for this exciting new study,” explained Professor Lamond. “Research in GRE has always featured productive collaborations and sharing of expertise between the respective research groups and this collaboration shows that we have established a fantastic collaborative network through continuing interactions with PIs who have left GRE to take up senior positions in other leading institutions.”

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