Using molecular, biochemical and structural approaches, over the past many years, we have broadly contributed to defining how specific human BER proteins recognize and process target lesions, as well as coordinate with other components of the pathway. This research has centered largely on apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1), the major mammalian protein for repairing abasic sites in DNA, and x-ray cross-complementing 1 (XRCC1), a non-enzymatic scaffold protein that facilitates the efficient execution of single-strand break (SSB) repair. Some of our most recent work has described that (i) XRCC1 coordinates disparate responses and multi-protein repair complexes that are dependent on the nature and context of the DNA damage;(ii) the different regions of XRCC1 play distinct roles in coordinating repair complex assembly and the population variants Arg280His and Arg399Gln exhibit reduced stability at DNA damage foci, suggesting that they may represent disease susceptibility factors;and (iii) certain BER components can interfere with the processing of DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs), which are created both by natural events and by exposure to certain chemotherapeutic agents. Our results have implications for how BER proteins may affect disease susceptibility and therapeutic agent responsiveness. APE1 is the major mammalian enzyme responsible for the repair of abasic sites in DNA, and has functions in SSB repair and other cellular processes, including transcriptional regulation. We are in the process of establishing genetically modified cell lines to dissect out the precise contribution of each proposed function of APE1 (i.e. its nuclease activity, redox regulatory role, etc.) in cell growth/viability, genome maintenance, and protection against DNA-damaging agents. In addition, we are developing small molecule probes to complement the proposed genetic experiments to define the biological roles of specific APE1 activities. The underlying hypothesis is that APE1, and BER more generally, plays a critical role in dictating cellular responsiveness to genotoxic insults and susceptibility to disease manifestation, particularly in the face of certain environmental exposure(s). Defining which of the many reported functions of APE1 are critical to normal cellular activity is a key step towards understanding the potential relationship of the protein to the aging process and disease risk. DNA ICLs can arise from reactions with endogenous chemicals, such as the lipid peroxidation product malondialdehyde, as well as from exposure to a variety of clinical anti-cancer agents, such as bifunctional alkylators. Recent studies suggest a role for BER in the processing of these highly toxic DNA intermediates, which are absolute blocks to transcription and replication, and thus, lethal adducts. We are continuing experiments using developed strategies, e.g. laser microirradiation coupled with high resolution confocal microscopy, to define the molecular involvement of specific repair factors in ICL removal. Elucidating the roles of DNA repair proteins in ICL resolution may reveal new targets relevant to anti-cancer treatment paradigms.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Type
Investigator-Initiated Intramural Research Projects (ZIA)
Project #
1ZIAAG000743-12
Application #
8736606
Study Section
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
12
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$365,988
Indirect Cost
Name
National Institute on Aging
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
State
Country
Zip Code
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