Indexed on: 03 Jul '13Published on: 03 Jul '13Published in: Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology
The bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans is a champion of extreme radiation resistance that is accounted for by a highly efficient protection against proteome, but not genome, damage. A well-protected functional proteome ensures cell recovery from extensive radiation damage to other cellular constituents by molecular repair and turnover processes, including an efficient repair of disintegrated DNA. Therefore, cell death correlates with radiation-induced protein damage, rather than DNA damage, in both robust and standard species. From the reviewed biology of resistance to radiation and other sources of oxidative damage, we conclude that the impact of protein damage on the maintenance of life has been largely underestimated in biology and medicine.