Nigel Grindley has pioneered structural and biochemical studies of the mechanisms by which enzymes selectively make, break or rearrange DNA. These mechanisms are fundamental to the duplication of DNA in the dividing cell, and also offer potential for the development of new sequencing technologies.
Nigel elucidated the role played by the enzyme gamma delta resolvase in cutting DNA at pairs of specific sites in preparation for recombination of the DNA strands. Recombination shuffles the genetic material between chromosomes during the formation of eggs and sperm. However, if not concluded accurately, it can lead to mutations that may cause cancer.
Taking the same approach, Nigel has investigated DNA polymerases that build new DNA strands. By defining the various changes in molecular conformation that take place during DNA recombination or synthesis, Nigel has explored how these enzymes contribute to DNA repair and avoid errors that may have adverse effects on health.
Interest and expertise
Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
Biochemistry and molecular biology
Site-specific recombination, DNA enzymology, DNA polymerase, Serine recombinase, DNA Transposition