Effects of BRCA1 Loss on the Fidelity of DNA Double-Strand Break Repair
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe tumor suppressor Breast Cancer Susceptibility Protein 1 (BRCA1) protects our cells from genomic instability in part by facilitating the efficient repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Other functions of BRCA1 include transcriptional regulation, apoptosis, DNA damage signaling, chromatin remodeling and protein ubiquitination. The major contribution of BRCA1 to maintaining genomic stability is thought to be through its role in DNA repair. BRCA1 promotes the error-free repair of double-strand breaks by homologous recombination, and is also implicated in the regulation of non-homologous end joining repair. Here we investigated the role of BRCA1 in maintaining the fidelity of non-homologous end joining repair following a double-strand break. We also examined the frequency of microhomology-mediated end joining (MMEJ) and the fidelity of double-strand break repair relative to BRCA1 protein levels in both control and tumorigenic breast epithelial cells. In addition to altered BRCA1 protein levels, we tested the effects of cellular exposure to mirin, an inhibitor of Meiotic recombination enzyme 11 (Mre11) 3' to 5' exonuclease activity. Knockdown or loss of BRCA1 protein resulted in an increased frequency of overall plasmid DNA repair mutagenesis and MMEJ following a double-strand break. Inhibition of Mre11 exonuclease activity with mirin significantly decreased the occurrence of MMEJ, but did not considerably affect the overall mutagenic frequency of plasmid double-strand break repair, although some of our data indicate that the size of sequence deletions may be reduced by mirin inhibition. The results suggest that BRCA1 protects DNA from mutagenesis during non-homologous double strand break repair in plasmid-based assays. The increased frequency of double-strand break mutagenesis and MMEJ repair in the absence of BRCA1 suggests a potential mechanism for carcinogenesis.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Molecular & Cellular Biology