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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24723

Title: DNA Replication and Trinucleotide Repeat Instability in Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1
Authors: Cleary, John
Advisor: Pearson, Christopher E.
Department: Molecular and Medical Genetics
Keywords: DNA replication
neurodegeneration
triplet repeat
cis-element
instability
model system
Issue Date: 6-Aug-2010
Abstract: The expansion of gene-specific trinucleotide repeats is responsible for a growing list of human disorders, including myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1). Repeat instability for most of these disorders, including DM1, is characterized by complex patterns of inherited and ongoing tissue-specific instability and pathogenesis. While the mechanistic basis behind the unique locus-specific instability of trinucleotide repeats is currently unknown, DNA metabolic processes are likely to play a role. My thesis involves investigating the contribution of DNA replication to the trinucleotide instability of myotonic dystrophy type 1. Herein I have designed an in vivo primate model system, based on the SV40 replication system, to assess the contribution of DNA replication to DM1 repeat instability. This system allows the assessment, under controlled conditions, and manipulation of variables that may affect replication-associated repeat instability, under a primate cellular system. Using the SV40 model system, I not only confirmed previous observations that repeat length and replication direction affect repeat instability, but also for the first time determined that the location of the replication origin relative to the repeat tract plays an important role in repeat instability. This novel observation allowed for the development of a fork-shift model of repeat instability, in which cis-elements adjacent to the repeat tract affect replication, in turn altering the propensity for repeat instability. To further my study of DNA replication in DM1 repeat instability, I have mapped the origin of replication adjacent to the DM1 locus in human patient cells and the tissues of DM1 transgenic mice actively undergoing repeat instability. The position of the replication origins adjacent to the repeat tract at the DM1 locus places several known cis-elements, including CTCF binding sites, in a position to alter replication as predicted by the fork-shift model. My analysis of the CTCF sites showed them capable of altering replication and repeat instability at the DM1 locus. Taken together these results suggest that the placement of replication origins, repeat tracts and cis-elements, may mark trinucleotide repeat tracts, such as the DM1, for locus-, tissue- and development-specific replication-associated repeat instability.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24723
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Molecular Genetics - Doctoral theses

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