Student: Michael Ohman, Undergraduate Student in Pharmacy, Drake University
Research Mentor: Dr. Pramod Mahajan
Regulation of Methyltransferases in DNA repair
Damage to DNA occurs very often. So often, that there are very intricate mechanisms for repairing a wide array of DNA damage. A common insult is alkane groups being added to cytosine and guanine. A group of endogenous enzymes which add a type of alkane group to DNA is the family of enzymes known as DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). With one difference being that when the DNMTs add a methyl group, it is not damaging the DNA.
Due to this dichotomy, we are interested in seeing if DNMTs are involved in DNA damage repair. We will add known DNA damaging agents to human cancer cell lines in the laboratory and use an assay we recently developed to analyze whether the DNMT’s activity and expression level increases, decreases or does not change as a result of the DNA damage.