Our T and B cells can target trillions of different molecular patterns with the help of a protein complex called RAG, which recognizes specific DNA sequences and rearranges genes. However, because this process involves cutting and splicing DNA, sometimes DNA pieces get inserted into the wrong place in the genome and contribute to leukemia and lymphoma development. Dr. Ru is dissecting this process by characterizing RAG’s physical structure and how it binds and cleaves DNA. Additionally, he’s determining how certain mutations affect RAG’s structure and function to gain some insights into the mechanisms that may be responsible for RAG-induced blood cancers. This work will expand our knowledge of the causes of aberrant RAG activity, and may lead to ways to better address the deficiencies in patients.
Projects and Grants
Structural and biochemical studies of the antigen receptor gene recombination machinery
Boston Children’s Hospital | Colorectal Cancer, Leukemia | 2015 | Hao Wu, Ph.D.
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