Student: Allison Golbach, Undergraduate Student in Pharmacy, Drake University
Research Mentor: Dr. Pramod Mahajan
Epigenetic Effects of DNA Damaging Agents
High energy radiation due to environmental catastrophes, radiation treatment, or chemotherapy leads to DNA damage, including both single and double strand breaks. It is well established that DNA damage alters its replication and transcription, as well as the role of epigenetic modifications in DNA repair mechanisms. However, the molecular cross-talk between epigenetic pathways and single/double strand break repair pathways is not fully elucidated. Preliminary research has shown that inhibition of DNA strand break repair results in downregulation of epigenetic changes, and this project will further explore this mechanism. Human cancer cells will be treated with the radiomimetic drug daunorubicin at varying concentrations and time intervals. Genomic DNA and nuclear proteins will be isolated and epigenetic changes will be quantitated. Specific antibodies will be employed to detect modulation in levels of key proteins involved in single or double strand break repair pathways. The results from this project may be useful for development of new therapies or biomarkers for diseases associated with radiation damage to DNA.