What is it about?

Gene transfer agents (GTAs) are virus-like particle produced by some prokaryotic microorganisms that package and transfer small pieces of cellular DNA to other cells. Their potential benefits to the producing cells have long been speculated and now a recent study has shown that they can assist cells survive after suffering DNA damage. This article briefly reviews some important concepts about GTAs and discusses these new findings.

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Why is it important?

The highlighted research adds important new information about the function(s) of gene transfer agents.


It was exciting to see a function for gene transfer agents be demonstrated after many years of speculation.

Andrew Lang
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Virus-derived gene transfer agents benefit host cells by providing templates for DNA repair, PLoS Biology, November 2022, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3001874.
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