Cellular Reference Materials for DNA Damage Using Electrochemical OxidationRead the full article
Journal of Nucleic Acids publishes original research articles as well as review articles covering all structural, chemical, and functional aspects of DNA and RNA research.
Chief Editor, Professor Basu, is currently based at the University of Connecticut. His research focuses on determination of the consequences of DNA damaged by anti-tumor drugs, chemical carcinogens, oxidation, or radiation.
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Genetic Clearness Novel Strategy of Group I Bacillus Species Isolated from Fermented Food and Beverages by Using Fibrinolytic Enzyme Gene Encoding a Serine-Like Enzyme
Fibrinolytic enzyme gene (fibE) is widely conserved among Bacillus spp. belonging to group I species. This is encoding a serine-like enzyme (FibE) secreted in extracellular medium. This present work aims to assess the molecular usefulness of this novel conserved housekeeping gene among group I Bacillus spp. to identify and discriminate some related strains in traditional fermented food and beverages in Republic of Congo. First of all 155 isolates have been screened for enzymatic activities using caseinolytic assays. PCR techniques and nested PCR method using specific primers and correlated with 16S RNA sequencing were used. Blotting techniques have been performed for deep comparison with molecular methods. As a result B. amyloliquefaciens (1), B. licheniformis (1), B. subtilis (1), B. pumilus (3), B. altitudinis (2), B. atrophaeus (1), and B. safensis (3) have been specifically identified among 155 isolates found in fermented food and beverages. Genetic analysis and overexpression of glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) fused to mature protein of FibE in Escherichia coli BL21 and TOP10 showed 2-fold higher enzymatic activities by comparison with FibE wild type one. Immunodetection should be associated but this does not clearly discriminate Bacillus belonging to group I.
Inactivation of XPF Sensitizes Cancer Cells to Gemcitabine
Gemcitabine (2′, 2′-difluorodeoxycytidine; dFdC) is a deoxycytidine analog and is used primarily against pancreatic cancer. The cytotoxicity of gemcitabine is due to the inhibition of DNA replication. However, a mechanism of removal of the incorporated dFdC is largely unknown. In this report, we discovered that nucleotide excision repair protein XPF-ERCC1 participates in the repair of gemcitabine-induced DNA damage and inactivation of XPF sensitizes cells to gemcitabine. Further analysis identified that XPF-ERCC1 functions together with apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease (APE) in the repair of gemcitabine-induced DNA damage. Our results demonstrate the importance of the evaluation of DNA repair activities in gemcitabine treatment.
Netrin Family: Role for Protein Isoforms in Cancer
Netrins form a family of secreted and membrane-associated proteins. Netrins are involved in processes for axonal guidance, morphogenesis, and angiogenesis by regulating cell migration and survival. These processes are of special interest in tumor biology. From the netrin genes various isoforms are translated and regulated by alternative splicing. We review here the diversity of isoforms of the netrin family members and their known and potential roles in cancer.
DNA Ligase IV Prevents Replication Fork Stalling and Promotes Cellular Proliferation in Triple Negative Breast Cancer
DNA damage is a hallmark of cancer, and mutation and misregulation of proteins that maintain genomic fidelity are associated with the development of multiple cancers. DNA double strand breaks are arguably considered the most deleterious type of DNA damage. The nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway is one mechanism to repair DNA double strand breaks, and proteins involved in NHEJ may also regulate DNA replication. We previously established that DNA-PKcs, a NHEJ protein, promotes genomic stability and cell viability following cellular exposure to replication stress; we wanted to discern whether another NHEJ protein, DNA ligase IV (Lig4), shares this phenotype. Our investigations focused on triple negative breast cancer cells, as, compared to nonbasal breast cancer, LIG4 is frequently amplified, and an increased gene dose is associated with higher Lig4 expression. We depleted Lig4 using siRNA and confirmed our knockdown by qPCR and western blotting. Cell survival diminished with Lig4 depletion alone, and this was associated with increased replication fork stalling. Checkpoint protein Chk1 activation and dephosphorylation were unchanged in Lig4-depleted cells. Lig4 depletion resulted in sustained DNA-PKcs phosphorylation following hydroxyurea exposure. Understanding the effect of Lig4 on genomic replication and the replication stress response will clarify the biological ramifications of inhibiting Lig4 activity. In addition, Lig4 is an attractive clinical target for directing CRISPR/Cas9-mediated repair towards homology-directed repair and away from NHEJ, thus understanding of how diminishing Lig4 impacts cell biology is critical.
SERPINA1 mRNA as a Treatment for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
Alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is a genetic disorder that produces inactive/defective AAT due to mutations in the SERPINA1 gene encoding AAT. This disease is associated with decreased activity of AAT in the lungs and deposition of excessive defective AAT protein in the liver. Currently there is no specific treatment for liver disease associated with AAT deficiency. AAT lung disease is often treated with one of several serum protein replacement products; however, long-term studies of the effectiveness of SerpinA1 replacement therapy are not available, and it does not reduce liver damage in AAT deficiency. mRNA therapy could potentially target both the liver and lungs of AAT deficient patients. AAT patient fibroblasts and AAT patient fibroblast-derived hepatocytes were transfected with SERPINA1-encoding mRNA and cell culture media were tested for SerpinA1 expression. Our data demonstrates increased SerpinA1 protein in culture media from treated AAT patient fibroblasts and AAT patient fibroblast-derived hepatocytes. In vivo studies in wild type mice demonstrate SERPINA1 mRNA biodistribution in liver and lungs, as well as SerpinA1 protein expression in these two target organs which are critically affected in AAT deficiency. Taken together, our data suggests that SerpinA1 mRNA therapy has the potential to benefit patients suffering from AAT deficiency.
Effects of 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine Epigenetic Modification on the Stability and Molecular Recognition of VEGF i-Motif and G-Quadruplex Structures
Promoters often contain asymmetric G- and C-rich strands, in which the cytosines are prone to epigenetic modification via methylation (5-mC) and 5-hydroxymethylation (5-hmC). These sequences can also form four-stranded G-quadruplex (G4) or i-motif (iM) secondary structures. Although the requisite sequences for epigenetic modulation and iM/G4 formation are similar and can overlap, they are unlikely to coexist. Despite 5-hmC being an oxidization product of 5-mC, the two modified bases cluster at distinct loci. This study focuses on the intersection of G4/iM formation and 5-hmC modification using the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene promoter’s CpG sites and examines whether incorporation of 5-hmC into iM/G4 structures had any physicochemical effect on formation, stability, or recognition by nucleolin or the cationic porphyrin, TMPyP4. No marked changes were found in the formation or stability of iM and G4 structures; however, changes in recognition by nucleolin or TMPyP4 occurred with 5-hmC modification wherein protein and compound binding to 5-hmC modified G4s was notably reduced. G4/iM structures in the VEGF promoter are promising therapeutic targets for antiangiogenic therapy, and this work contributes to a comprehensive understanding of their governing principles related to potential transcriptional control and targeting.