University of Sussex
Hornyak, Peter.pdf (13.33 MB)

Structural and mechanistic studies of DNA repair proteins

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posted on 2023-06-09, 00:59 authored by Peter Hornyak
Project 1: Small molecule inhibitors of TDP2 DNA Topoisomerase II (TOP2) has important roles in many cellular processes such as DNA replication and transcription, as well as in chromosome segregation. The main enzymatic function of TOP2 is to alter DNA topology and release torsional stress, by transiently introducing a double strand break (DSB) into a DNA duplex, passing a second intact duplex through the break, and then re-sealing the break. This enzymatic process involves the formation of TOP2-DNA covalent complexes, where the catalytic tyrosine (Y821) is linked to the 5’ phosphate group of a substrate DNA. TOP2 ‘poisons’ such as etoposide, doxorubicin and mitozantrone, which have found utility as anti-cancer agents, lead to an accumulation of these covalent complexes, leading eventually to cell death in rapidly replicating and dividing cells. As many tumours treated with TOP2 poisons go on to develop chemo-resistance, it is postulated that dual-combination therapy with inhibitors of a second enzyme, 5'-tyrosyl DNA phosphodiesterase-2 (TDP2) may prevent this from occurring; TDP2 acts to remove TOP2-DNA adducts, liberating DNA ends for repair. Inhibitors of TDP2 may also prove useful as a mono-therapy in defined tumour types. As part of an ongoing collaboration with the Sussex Drug Discovery Centre (SDDC), the aim of the project was to determine high-resolution X-ray crystal structures of TDP2 in complex with a series of deazaflavin inhibitors. The information acquired will guide ongoing structure-based drug design, with the aim of developing and nominating a hit-to lead compound in the near future. Project 2: The XRCC1 phosphate-binding pocket binds poly(ADP-ribose) In living organisms, genomic DNA is constantly exposed to both endogenous and exogenous sources of DNA damaging agents, which if not repaired, can result in the accumulation of mutations and chromosomal aberrations. Cells have evolved a series of DNA-damage repair enzymes and pathways, to cope with this perpetual threat. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) is the founding member of the large ADP ribosyl transferase superfamily. Among its broad range of functions, PARP1 can detect the presence of both single- and double-strand breaks (SSBs and DSBs) in DNA, upon which it becomes catalytically activated. As a result, PARP1 then synthesises poly(ADP-ribose) polymer using NAD+ as a co-factor, thereby modifying both itself (auto-ribosylation ) and other proteins (trans-ribosylation) in the vicinity of the DNA break. During the initial phases of the single-strand break repair (SSBR), the scaffold protein XRCC1 is recruited by PARP1, via an interaction between poly(AD-ribose) (PAR) and the central BRCT1 domain in XRCC1. However, further investigation is required to elucidate the mechanism by which the BRCT1 domain interacts with PAR. This project aims to address this question.


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University of Sussex

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