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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19097

Title: Orchestration of the DNA Damage Checkpoint Response through the Regulation of the Protein Kinase Rad53
Authors: Sweeney, Frédéric
Advisor: Durocher, Daniel
Department: Molecular and Medical Genetics
Keywords: Checkpoint
DNA damage
saccharomyces cerevisiae
Issue Date: 23-Feb-2010
Abstract: In order to maintain genome stability, DNA damage needs to be detected and repaired in a timely fashion. To cope with damaged DNA, cells have evolved mechanisms termed "checkpoints", where, upon damage, cells initiate a signal transduction cascade that results in the slowing or halting of the cell cycle, allowing efficient DNA repair. Defects in the DNA damage checkpoint result in an overall increase in genomic instability and are thought to fuel cancer progression. To facilitate our understanding of how DNA damage leads to cancer progression, it is crucial to fully comprehend how these signal transduction mechanisms function. In this work, we have characterized in great detail the mechanisms of regulation of Rad53 (a central regulator of the DNA damage response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae) at the genetic, biochemical and structural level. Firstly, we describe a complex biochemical two-step mode of activation of Rad53 by protein-protein interaction and multi-step phosphorylation. We also shed light onto the mechanisms by which Rad53 is turned off to allow the cell cycle to resume, a process termed DNA damage recovery and adaptation. We found that during adaptation, the polo-like kinase Cdc5 is required to attenuate Rad53 catalytic activity. Finally, the study of Rad53 at the molecular and atomic level revealed that in addition to being regulated through a complex network of protein-protein interactions, Rad53 autophosphorylation is orchestrated by a mechanism of dimerization, activation segment phosphorylation via A-loop exchange, as well as through an autoinhibition mechanism regulated by a specific alpha-helical region at the C-terminal extremity of its kinase domain. Such work is important in understanding the function of different proteins in DNA damage signaling. This knowledge will enhance our understanding of the progression of DNA damage related diseases such as cancer, and could eventually help in the long term the development of novel therapeutics as treatments against these conditions.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19097
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Molecular Genetics - Doctoral theses

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