Proteomics of Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases during DNA Replication and Repair

Authors: Tedim Ferreira, Maria
Advisor: Poirier, Guy
Abstract: In 2017, Statistics Canada reported that one out of four Canadians will die of cancer. Every day, we face environmental factors that burden our DNA with genotoxic stress. This stress can lead to severe types of DNA damage that can threaten our genomic integrity, namely double-strand breaks (DSBs). Fortunately, our cells have evolved with different repair mechanisms to deal with such lesions. There are two primary types of repair against DSBs: Homologous Recombination (HR) and Classical Non-Homologous End-Joining (CNHEJ). The HR pathway is an error-free repair mechanism used in the S-phase of the cell cycle to ensure faithful repair of the damaged area and thus preserve our genetic information. Individuals that bear mutations in proteins involved in this pathway, such as BRCA1 and BCRA2, have been associated with the development of breast and ovarian cancers. Almost 4 years ago, the field went through a major breakthrough in ovarian cancer care. A new class of drugs was accepted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to manage recurrent ovarian cancers that display HR-deficiencies. These drugs consist of inhibitor molecules against one of the earliest sensors of DNA damage in the cell: PARP-1 (poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1). Upon DNA damage induction, PARP-1 becomes highly activated, leading to the massive production of poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) polymers, from the hydrolysis of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, which in turn modify several proteins posttranslationally and act as a scaffold to recruit DNA repair factors to the repair site. The successful application of PARP inhibitors (PARPi) arose from the observations that mutations or silencing of BRCA1/2, resulted in diminished HR activity. In the context of HR deficiency, the concomitant inhibition of PARP resulted in cell-death, an effect called synthetic lethality. Three PARPi are currently accepted by the FDA and are being clinically used for the treatment of gynaecological cancers. Notwithstanding the great promise of these inhibitors for other types of cancers, the mechanism by which these are inducing cancer lethality is not fully understood. Thus, it becomes of extreme importance to further decipher its mechanistic ways, to achieve full potential of PARPi in the clinic. To achieve this, fundamental research on the functions of PARPs and their protein partners in the DNA damage response is indispensable and constitutes the general aim of this thesis. During my doctoral work, we investigated the influence of PARP-1 during the HR pathway, primarily during the initial step of resection, which is essential for the removal of damaged DNA. Early reports of PARP-1 involvement in resection described the recruitment of the resection protein MRE11 to sites of damage in a PARP-1 dependent manner. Here, we demonstrate that PARP-1 has a novel function in DSB resection and we propose a new model for the synthetic lethality observed in HR-deficient tumors. To further complement the general aim of this doctorate, we investigated the regulatory roles of PARP-1 during the HR pathway, however in a later stage of HR resolution, at the peak formation of RAD51 foci, which is a crucial step for the efficient repair of DSBs through HR. We observed that the PAR-interactome (PARylome) at this stage was abundantly enriched with RNA-processing factors. Several of the most abundant proteins consisted of DNA and RNA helicases, as well as transcription factors, some of which were found to be mutated in tumors, and thus can be seen as potentially druggable targets to be used in combination with PARPi. We also extended our PARylome study to the chromatin proteome and investigated the histone PARylome upon DNA damage. Interestingly, we found that histone tails are not the only targets of PARP-1 and that globular domains are also targets of PARylation. Lastly, the high clinical interest of PARP-1 warrants studies addressing PARP-1 organ distribution. Thus, I finalized my studies by extensively describing and reporting PARP-1 tissular and cellular distribution and abundance in monkey organs, with the main objective of providing valuable information to any study assessing PARP inhibition efficacy and resistance in any given tissue and related diseases. In summary, this thesis provides important new information on the mechanisms PARP-1 is regulating during the response to DSBs, including the networks PARP-1 is orchestrating to potentially help reshape the cell environment, to efficiently repair the most lethal lesion our genome faces.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2019
Open Access Date: 6 February 2020
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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