Defense Date

2006

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Biochemistry

First Advisor

Dr. Kristoffer Valerie

Abstract

Ionizing radiation (IR) triggers many signaling pathways stemming from DNA damage, and, independently, from extra-nuclear events. To generate radio-mimetic DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) without and minimizing the effects on extra-nuclear radiation targets, human (p53+) glioma and carcinoma cells containing bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU)- substituted DNA were treated with Hoechst 33258 followed by long wave-length UV (UV-A) (BrdU photolysis). BrdU photolysis resulted in well-controlled, dose-dependent generation of DSBs equivalent to 0.2 - 20 Gy of IR, as detected by pulse-field gel electrophoresis, accompanied by dose-dependent H2AX phosphorylation at ser-139 and ATM phosphorylation at ser-1981, indicating ATM activation. Furthermore, BrdU photolysis increased phosphorylation of Chk2 (at thr-68) and p53 (at ser-15). p53 phosphorylation was reduced by the ATM inhibitor caffeine, and H2AX phosphorylation was greatly reduced in AT cells, confirming that phosphorylation was primarily ATM-dependent. We also examined the effects of BrdU photolysis on the major cellular signaling ERK pathways. Interestingly, low-dose (≤ 2 Gy-equivalents) BrdU photolysis stimulated ERK1/2 phosphorylation whereas higher doses (≥ 5 Gy eq.) resulted in Em1/2 dephosphorylation. ERK1/2 phosphorylation was ATM-dependent, whereas dephosphorylation was ATM-independent and DSBs dose-dependent. Thus ERK1/2 appear to be both positively and negatively regulated by ATM depending on the severity of the insult to DNA. In summary, few DSBs trigger ATM-dependent ERK1/2 pro-survival signals whereas more DSBs result in ERK1/2 dephosphorylation consistent with a switch from pro-survival to anti-survival signaling that might affect DSBs repair.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

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