The long-term goal of this project is to study how post-translational modifications of DNA mismatch repair (MMR) proteins impact genome integrity and cancer development. MMR maintains genome stability by removing mismatches in the newly synthesized strand during DNA replication. The MMR reaction involves mismatch recognition by the initiation factors (MutS?, MutL?, and PCNA), mismatch removal by nucleases, and DNA gap-filling by DNA polymerases. The importance of MMR is under- scored by the fact that MMR defects lead to hypermutations and susceptibility to both hereditary and sporadic colorectal cancers (CRCs). Exhibiting elevated instability in simple repeats, called microsatellite instability (MSI), is a hallmark of MMR-deficient CRCs. However, only ~70% of hereditary and sporadic CRC cases that display MSI have identifiable mutations in MMR genes, suggesting that other mechanism(s) are responsible for the MSI phenotype in the remaining 30% of the cases. We recently showed that CRC cells containing high levels of PCNA tyrosine phosphorylation are defective in MMR in vitro. We therefore hypothesize that PCNA phosphorylation inhibits MMR, leading to genome instability and CRC development. To test this hypothesis, three Specific Aims are proposed.
Aim 1 is to determine how phosphorylated PCNA inhibits MMR. A well-defined in vitro MMR reaction will be conducted in both a nuclear extract system and a reconstituted system in the presence or absence of phosphorylated PCNA, and analysis of the repair products will allow determination of the specific step(s) of the reaction tht is blocked.
Aim 2 is to determine hypermutability and MMR proficiency in cells stably expressing phosphorylated PCNA mimics while suppressed for endogenous PCNA expression.
Aim 3 is to analyze tumorigenesis in transgenic mice expressing phosphorylated PCNA. A successful completion of the proposed work will establish PCNA tyrosine phosphorylation as a novel biomarker for cancer etiology and progression.
Despite that great progress has been made in colorectal cancer (CRC) therapy, the disease is still the second leading cause of cancer deaths among adults in the United States. A major reason for this is that the factors that cause a significant fraction of CRC are not fully understood. To improve the health of Americans, this application aims to identify these factors, which will improve both CRC screening and treatment.
|Li, Guo-Min (2014) New insights and challenges in mismatch repair: getting over the chromatin hurdle. DNA Repair (Amst) 19:48-54|
|Li, Feng; Mao, Guogen; Tong, Dan et al. (2013) The histone mark H3K36me3 regulates human DNA mismatch repair through its interaction with MutS?. Cell 153:590-600|
|Li, Guo-Min (2013) Decoding the histone code: Role of H3K36me3 in mismatch repair and implications for cancer susceptibility and therapy. Cancer Res 73:6379-83|
|Hegde, Muralidhar L; Hegde, Pavana M; Bellot, Larry J et al. (2013) Prereplicative repair of oxidized bases in the human genome is mediated by NEIL1 DNA glycosylase together with replication proteins. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110:E3090-9|