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Title: Deciphering the crosstalk : characterisation of the regulation of the ER stress response by the DNA repair enzyme AAG
Author: Forrer Charlier, Clara
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 3561
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2018
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The genome is a very dynamic store of genetic information and constantly threatened by endogenous and exogenous damaging agents. To maintain fidelity of the information stored, several robust and overlapping repair pathways, such as the Base Excision Repair (BER) pathway, have evolved. The main BER glycosylase responsible for repairing alkylation DNA damage is the alkyladenine DNA glycosylase (AAG). Repair initiated by AAG can lead to accumulation of cytotoxic intermediates. Here, we report the involvement of AAG in the elicitation of the unfolded protein response (UPR), a mechanism triggered to restore proteostasis in the cell whose dysfunction is implicated in diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Firstly, we determined that not only human ARPE-19 cells were capable of eliciting the UPR, but that an alkylating agent, methyl methanesulfonate (MMS), also triggers the response, and that in the absence of AAG the response is greatly diminished. Our luciferase reporter assay indicates that the response is activated on multiple branches (IRE1 and ATF6) on both AAG-proficient and deficient cells. Although no transcriptional induction of UPR markers was detected by RT-qPCR at 6 hours post MMS treatment, preliminary western-blot data at 6 and 24h, show activation of key UPR markers (p-eIF2α, BiP and XBP-1) upon MMS treatment in wild-type cells and little or no activation on AAG -/-. To investigate the impact of AAG modulation on the cellular proteome we also conducted a proteomic analysis, identifying 5480 protein groups in wild-type ARPE-19, 5377 in the AAG -/- A2C2 and 5264 in AAG -/- B6C3. After a high-stringency analysis, we identified 13 proteins present only in wild-type cells, indicating promising targets for further investigation into the role of AAG in the UPR. We also identified 44 overrepresented GO-slim terms across all cell lines and 23 overrepresented pathways, mostly related to cellular metabolism processes. Whereas more experiments are required to characterize the nature of AAG’s contribution to the UPR, we demonstrate the existence of crosstalk between the DNA repair response and the ER stress response pathways, that is potentially relevant in a clinical setting.
Supervisor: Meira, Lisie ; Moore, Jennifer Sponsor: Science Without Borders Programme, Brazil
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available