Kanaar, Roland

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Roland Kanaar studied during his graduate research the action of an enhancer in site-specific DNA recombination and elucidated how nucleoprotein complexes assembled at distant sites along a DNA chain communicate with each other to provide selectivity during recombination. His post-doctoral work aimed at understanding how proteins and RNA interact to achieve accurate but flexible recognition of splice sites.

His current research addresses the mechanisms and biological relevance of genome surveillance processes with particular emphasis on homologous DNA recombination and DNA double-strand break repair. Genome surveillance is essential to prevent chromosomal abnormalities, which in their turn may lead to hereditary diseases, cancer or cell decay. Contrary to the existing dogma, his group showed that DNA double-strands breaks in mammalian cells can be repaired through homologous recombination. The work was granted a prestigious 'Pionier' research grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research in 2000. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of scientific journals including EMBO J. and Molecular Cell.

Research interests: We are pursuing an integrated approach using biochemical, protein structural, cell biological and mouse genetics methods to unravel different aspect of genome maintenance processes from the molecular to the whole animal level.

Kanaar group pages


van Mameren J, Modesti M, Kanaar R, Wyman C, Peterman EJ, Wuite GJ (2009)
Counting RAD51 proteins disassembling from nucleoprotein filaments under tension
Nature 457(7230):745-748

Hanada K, Budzowska M, Davies SL, van Drunen E, Onizawa H, Beverloo HB, Maas A, Essers J, Hickson ID, Kanaar R (2007)
The structure-specific endonuclease Mus81 contributes to replication restart by generating double-strand DNA breaks
Nat Struct Mol Biol 14(11):1096-1104

Modesti M, Budzowska M, Baldeyron C, Demmers JA, Ghirlando R, Kanaar R (2007)
RAD51AP1 is a structure-specific DNA binding protein that stimulates joint molecule formation during RAD51-mediated homologous recombination
Mol Cell 28(3):468-481