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bradford.ac.uk

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About University of Bradford

The University of Bradford is a public university located in the city of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England.

University of Bradford Headquarter Location

Richmond Rd

Bradford, England, BD7 1DP,

United Kingdom

+44 (0) 1274 232323

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Latest University of Bradford News

Bradford scientists find DNA ‘switch’ in fight against cancer and dementia

Sep 15, 2021

Credit: University of Bradford Scientists from the University of Bradford have discovered a DNA protein ‘switch’ that could help in the treatment of cancer and dementia. The findings, published this week in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, were described by the lead author Prof Sherif El-Khamisy as “significant”. They involve the identification of a mechanism that regulates the creation of something called R-loops, which are part of our DNA. R-loops are very ‘brittle’ and prone to breaking. Too many R-loops can lead to cell death, whereas not enough causes disruption of protein production. Now for the first time, a process by which R-loops are regulated in our DNA has been identified. The work follows five years of research. Prof El-Khamisy said: “It is significant because it has not been clear until now how those structures are regulated in our cells. Also by identifying these proteins that regulate R-loops and the link between them, we can design drugs to manipulate the process in the way we want. We are getting one step closer to finding drugs that can modify the progression of some diseases including cancer, dementia and conditions which affect co-ordination, like ataxia and Huntington’s Disease, which are associated with perturbed R-loops.” What are R-loops? R-loops form naturally during DNA metabolism and are used to regulate the production of various proteins in the body. However, they can have both positive and negative effects, depending on their frequency and location. Too many R-loops can lead to DNA instability and cell death. Too few means the body cannot make the proteins it needs. The three proteins which regulate R-loops are called senataxin, USP11 and KEAP1. What do the findings mean? The lead author, Prof El-Khamisy said they had now discovered a mechanism to control the regulation of R-loops. “We have identified three main proteins in a ‘pathway’ that work together in a team to regulate the levels of R-loops and make them the optimum that’s needed for making proteins but also not big enough to induce DNA damage. This regulation is driven by a small molecule that’s added to proteins in our body called ubiquitin. In other words, we have found the protein that puts in the signal and the protein that takes it away.” He said the findings could lead to new drugs to treat a variety of conditions. “We could make drugs to increase this modification and therefore get rid of the moderator and therefore increase R-loops, which would be useful in killing cells, which is what we do when we treat people for cancer. The other application would be to reduce the level of R-loops, which could be beneficial for things like dementia and some genetic conditions that affect muscle co-ordination.” He added: “Our next step at the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics in Bradford is to develop drugs for one or more of these proteins and we aim to start that next year.” First author, former PhD student and current post-doctoral fellow, Mat Jurga said: “From day one, it’s been an exciting and fast-paced project – starting at the University of Sheffield and finishing at the University of Bradford. I think it is very lucky that we finished in the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics, as it is the perfect place to take the project forward and develop new drugs for cancer and dementia. Not only have we shown how human cells fine-tune R-loops, but also how they deal with a loss of a protein – an event commonly found in cancer. Therefore, I’m looking forward to working with researchers from ICT and the University of Bradford to build on our findings and develop new drugs.” Journal

University of Bradford Acquisitions

1 Acquisition

University of Bradford acquired 1 company. Their latest acquisition was Incanthera on January 01, 2010.

Date

Investment Stage

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Total Funding

Note

Sources

1/1/2010

Series A

$4.66M

Spinoff / Spinout

1

Date

1/1/2010

Investment Stage

Series A

Companies

Valuation

Total Funding

$4.66M

Note

Spinoff / Spinout

Sources

1

University of Bradford Partners & Customers

10 Partners and customers

University of Bradford has 10 strategic partners and customers. University of Bradford recently partnered with EnQuest on June 6, 2021.

Date

Type

Business Partner

Country

News Snippet

Sources

6/10/2021

Partner

EnQuest

United Kingdom

EnQuest sustainability chair - 2021 - News - University of Bradford

Prof Zahir Irani , Deputy Vice-Chancellor adds : `` I am delighted that the University of Bradford will be working collaboratively with EnQuest through this funded Chair , which will seek to tap into the vast human and infrastructural resources we have here , at Bradford .

1

6/2/2021

Partner

Oxford International Education Group

United Kingdom

Oxford international partnership - 2021 - News - University of Bradford

Shirley Congdon , Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford , said : `` We are delighted to announce our partnership with Oxford International Education Group , who have an excellent reputation in the sector .

1

3/10/2021

Partner

SAS

United States

SAS STEP launch - 2021 - News - University of Bradford

SAS also plans to partner with the University of Bradford , to execute the programme in the Bradford area following a successful pilot conducted in late 2020 .

1

12/11/2018

Partner

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10

12/10/2018

Partner

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10

Date

6/10/2021

6/2/2021

3/10/2021

12/11/2018

12/10/2018

Type

Partner

Partner

Partner

Partner

Partner

Business Partner

EnQuest

Oxford International Education Group

SAS

Country

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

United States

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News Snippet

EnQuest sustainability chair - 2021 - News - University of Bradford

Prof Zahir Irani , Deputy Vice-Chancellor adds : `` I am delighted that the University of Bradford will be working collaboratively with EnQuest through this funded Chair , which will seek to tap into the vast human and infrastructural resources we have here , at Bradford .

Oxford international partnership - 2021 - News - University of Bradford

Shirley Congdon , Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford , said : `` We are delighted to announce our partnership with Oxford International Education Group , who have an excellent reputation in the sector .

SAS STEP launch - 2021 - News - University of Bradford

SAS also plans to partner with the University of Bradford , to execute the programme in the Bradford area following a successful pilot conducted in late 2020 .

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Sources

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