A protein that helps embryonic stem cells (ESCs) retain their identity also promotes DNA repair, according to a study in The Journal of Cell Biology. The findings raise the possibility that the protein, Sall4, performs a similar role in cancer cells, helping them fix DNA damage to survive chemotherapy.
This is an illustrated model for the role of Sall4 in activating ATM to repair DNA damage in embryonic stem cells.
Credit: Xiong et al., 2015
Stemness factor Sall4 is required for DNA damage response in embryonic stem cells. Xiong, J., et al. 2015. J. Cell Biol. doi:10.1083/jcb.201408106