Studying chromosomal rearrangements in yeast reveals potential avenue for cancer therapy

Researchers from Osaka University have found that the attachment of a ubiquitin molecule to a protein called PCNA at the lysine 107 position causes gross chromosomal rearrangements. This lysine is located where two PCNA molecules interact, and the ubiquitin attachment to it may change the ring structure they form. The ubiquitin attachment occurs through the action of Rad8 (a ubiquitin ligase) and Mms2-Ubc4 (a ubiquitin conjugating enzyme). This implies that inhibiting the human equivalent of this ubiquitination could prevent cancer.