Investigation of DNA Base Excision Repair in MTH1 Depleted T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia cells

University essay from KTH/Skolan för kemi, bioteknologi och hälsa (CBH)

Abstract: Genomic alterations may initiate cancer development as the consequence of endogenous or exogenous DNA damaging factors. Defects in DNA repair mechanisms may also facilitate cancer progression as well as accumulation of mutations which favor cancer cell survival. However, DNA repair pathways in cancer cells can be considered as their Achilles heel which are possible targets in order to compromise their survival. For instance, it has been demonstrated recently that inhibition of a protein called MTH1 via RNA interference (RNAi) or chemical inhibitors can stop tumor growth and triggers cell death by increasing the load of oxidative DNA damage. MTH1 is a hydrolase which converts 8-oxo-dGTP into 8-oxo-dGMP in order to prevent incorporation of oxidatively damaged nucleotides into DNA. In addition, DNA glycosylases which recognize and remove mismatched or damaged nucleotide pairs in DNA can also participate in repair of 8-oxo-dG, such as MUTYH repairing A:8-oxo-dG pair. The goal of the current study was to investigate the importance of MUTYH activity upon MTH1 depletion. The current study tried to answer whether simultaneous knock-down of MTH1 and MUTYH sensitizes cancer cells to oxidative stress and increases cell death. Both enzymes were simultaneously depleted in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells using RNAi. Then, we analyzed the efficiency of gene and protein knock-down by quantitative real-time-PCR and western blotting, respectively. Induction of cell death was also assessed by flow cytometric analysis of cell cycle. Afterwards, the effect of the treatments on DNA repair pathways was studied by analysis of gene expression of several DNA glycosylases and DNA polymerases using qRT-PCR. The results showed that concurrent depletion of both enzymes led to synergistic induction of cell death. Down-regulation of NEIL1 DNA glycosylase as well as POLQ and POLH DNA polymerases mRNAs adapted their DNA repair pathways to cope with induced damages under these conditions. Finally, the results of this study suggest that dual suppression of MTH1 and MUTYH may provide a new approach to reduce survival of T cell ALL.

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