Safeguarding genetic information is essential to all forms of life. Two key cellular processes keep it free from errors: DNA replication and repair. Importantly, when these do not work correctly, genetic information may be damaged or lost, ultimately leading to disease. Deregulation and malfunction of the protein machinery that safeguards our genome are a hallmark of cancer, but it remains unclear how this happens at the molecular level. The devil is in the detail, and we aim to understand what and when something goes wrong with these molecular machines, so that we can act to correct it and prevent it from happening.
These macromolecules are like real-life machines, with intricate mechanisms that allow them to perform their activities. To understand how they work, we use cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and biochemistry in an integrative approach. Beyond fundamental research, this structural information provides the necessary detail for drug development.