Student: Michael Ohman, Undergraduate Student, Pharmacy Candidate, Drake University
Research Mentor: Pramod Mahajan
Role of DNA methylation and methyltransferases in DNA repair
The primary purpose of my project is to analyze the effect that DNA damaging agents have on global DNA methylation and DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) activity. In order to accomplish this goal, we will develop a facile, non-radioactive assay which will be used to accurately assess the DNMT activity from cells without and with induced DNA damage.
We will use four mammalian cancer cell lines (HTB-19, HTB-20, SKOV3 and Jurkat) as a model system. These cells will be treated with known DNA damaging agents (e.g. genistein) as well as some experimental compounds (3-ABA, Compound M1) at defined concentrations for defined periods of time. We will isolate genomic DNA from control and treated cells, and assay for total methylation as well as total methyl transferase activities using already established fluorimetric assays. Simultaneously, we will work on developing a membrane-based high throughput assay for DNMT activity. This technique will enable us to gather data on the effect of DNA damage on DNA methylation.
At Drake University, I am in the second year of the Doctor of Pharmacy program. Upon completion, I would like to continue my education by pursuing a PhD and using these techniques learned to accomplish it.