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Report on ASM Conference on DNA Repair & Mutagenesis: From Molecular Structure to Biological Consequences

Yasunori Fukumoto (Hanaoka laboratory)

Destination: The Fairmont Southampton Princess, Bermuda

Purpose: to participate in ASM Conference on DNA Repair and Mutagenesis, make poster presentation and learn the latest knowledge and recent trend of this field to help myself determine future career.

Schedule
11/13 Itami ¨ Narita ¨ JFK (U.S.A.)
11/14 JFK (U.S.A.) ¨ Bermuda (U.K.)
11/14-19 ASM Conference on DNA Repair & Mutagenesis, the Fairmont Southampton Princess
11/20-21 Bermuda (U.K.) ¨ JFK (U.S.A.) ¨ Narita ¨ Itami

Meeting report and Perspective
As one of the biggest meetings of this field, this conference is held approximately every four years and it was a shame that this conference was postponed last year because of a hurricane. Accompanied with around six hundred participants and more than five hundred abstracts for poster session, the conference began with keynote address by Phil Hanawalt followed by gmusich session by famous professors in at-home mood, which last rest of the meeting. In the oral session, I noticed that many researchers work on Bacteria and yeasts, which seem to be rather less respected in domestic meetings. Every one of those talks was impressive, and itfs good to know that because I myself work on yeast.

Currently I work on DDB1 homologue (ddb1+) in fission yeast. DDB1 was originally isolated as nucleotide excision factor, but recent research suggests that DDB1 composes ubiquitin ligase (E3) and involves in various cellular processes through E3 activity. DDB1 requires additional factors to ubiquitinate target proteins, therefore it is important to identify DDB1-interacting proteins in vivo. Fortunately, I had started to purify Ddb1 complex from fission yeast ages ago, and in this conference, I presented the result of purification for poster session together with genetical analyses of ddb1+. I have at least two competing groups in U.S.A. and I had expected them to visit my poster, but both of them were absent in this conference, which relieved but also disappointed me.

Attending this meeting, I hope to find some clue for my future career. For that purpose, I felt that I need to know what the less understood things are, and I think I found some. For example, UV tolerance system other than translesion synthesis and replication recovery from DNA damage, which are currently recognized and analyzed in E. coli, and proposed but not well defined for eukaryotes. And in this conference, I felt we had a few sessions and posters about repair of interstrand crosslinks, which is one of the most highly toxic DNA lesions and concerned with some of the antineoplastic regent, but the mechanism of its removal is poorly understood compared with other excision repair machineries and so on, maybe because of the difficulty in analyses in vivo.

By the way, Bermuda is suitable place for conference with warm climate and tropical beaches. But it seemed more than suitable, because around the middle of the conference period, we had many skippers who might have been on the nearby beach, enjoying the sunshine.