The impact of cell metabolism on DNA repair in cancer

Posted 23 Feb 2022

The accumulation of unrepaired and mis-repaired DNA damage can lead to cancer development.

Cell metabolism has emerged as a key factor in DNA repair. The nutrient starvation of tumour cells impairs DNA repair and makes radiotherapy more effective. Drugs that mimic starvation, Rapamycin and Metformin, also make cells more sensitive to radiotherapy.

However, why transformed cells fail to repair their DNA when starved, remains largely unknown.

Professor Janni Petersen has received a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant to better understand the impact of cell metabolism on DNA repair in cancer.

“Given the sensitivity of tumour cells under nutrient stress to radiation, the impact of starvation on DNA repair is of great interest and importance. Our overarching goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms by which dietary restrictions regulate DNA repair, with the aim of improving treatment outcomes,” Prof Petersen said.

“We will identify key mechanisms for future targeting to enhance the effectiveness of radiotherapy. The outcomes of this research will improve current cancer treatment options and therefore increase survival for cancer patients.”

Research category: Biomedical

Project title: Toward understanding the impact of cell metabolism on DNA repair in cancer 

Lead researcher: Professor Janni Petersen 


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