School of Life Sciences

El-Khamisy Lab

Breaking and sealing one strand of DNA: the consequence of the Imbalance.

comet assay

Breaks in one strand of DNA arise spontaneously every day from various sources including abortive activities of endogenous enzymes and reactive oxygen species produced during normal metabolic activities. These types of DNA breaks underlie the clinical utility of important classes of anti-cancer drugs and their progressive accumulation causes neurodegenration in humans. This is highlighted by defects in the 3’-DNA processing enzyme tyrosyl DNA phosphodiesterase (TDP1) which removes stalled topoisomerase 1 peptide from DNA termini. Despite this important catalytic function fulfilled by TDP1, it remains together with the newly identified enzyme TDP2 the only human enzymes that display this catalytic activity. Here, we employ a combination of yeast genetics, molecular, cellular, and whole animal approaches to understand the mechanisms of repair of this type of DNA break and determine their impact on neuronal viability and human health.

laser damage g H2AX astrocytes

Our research work is funded by:

Wellcome trust logo Ataxia UK logo Cancer Research UK logo

Wellcome Trust University Fellow

Sherif El-Khamisy Pharm BSc FHEA PhD

University of Sussex
MRC Genome Stability
Brighton, BN1 9QG

T +44 1273 677831
F +44 1273 676781


Sherif Faruk El-Khamisy profile